The Power of Music on TV...The Medium That Can Make or Break an Artist

Music on television is at an all time low. With no Top Of The Pops or kids TV on any of the major channels showcasing musical acts, three minutes on TV to sell your album can make or break an artist. The irony in this new model of Music on TV is that the footwork isn't even done in the allotted 3 minutes on one of the hundreds of channels broadcast nightly but by the sharing of links via various websites like YouTube and Daily Motion. From performers grabbing some time in-between courses on a cookery show to elaborate affairs on prime time awards; never before has the platform been so valuable to an artist.

KT Tunstall on Jools Holland


The first time I can remember witnessing the power of a TV spot was in 2004 on one of the only Music shows still around today- Jools Holland. After a scheduled performance from Nas was cancelled the team at Jools needed to fill the spot and looked to Scottish singer songwriter KT Tunstall. In just 4 minutes KT managed to completely capture the audience in the small studio (including legend Anita Baker) with her creative use of the loop pedal. With her album already released (debuting at number 73) her label quickly re-issued the album causing it to catapult to number 3 in the UK charts. The album was later nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. Later in the year another TV show, this time American Idol, would help KT when contestant Katherine McPhee performed the same song causing the single to jump over 50 spots on the Billboard charts. Check out KT's transformative Jools Holland showing below…


Adele performs at the BRIT awards


In 2011 I was lucky enough to be invited to the BRIT awards. I'd already watched Adele perform her new material on the Jools Holland Show and remember playing one particular song to my Mum and Friends because I liked the way the melody sounded a little countryish in parts. But little did I know that the same song "Someone Like You" would go on to dominate the BRIT's the way it did. The whole of the O2 Arena sat silently (not an easy feat with a room full of drunk industry types) as Adele took to the stage backed only by a piano and nice lighting. I watched a girl I went to school with truly transform into a complete superstar before my very eyes- and she knew it. As she finished the song and looked out in to the crowd she began to cry almost knowing her life would never be the same. The song became the biggest selling single of the year (over a million copies in the UK alone) and helped the album 21 make history. We've probably all seen it by now but why not reminisce below…


Jay Z at Glastonbury


OK so Jay Z was already a massive star before he took to the Glastonbury stage. But its hard to deny the fact that the 2008 headliner benefitted massively from the show. The televised set helped boost sales by up to five times the previous week for Jay Z's back catalogue with 2 singles entering the top 40 in the following Sunday's chart. Jay wasn't the only winner that year with Duffy seeing a 163% rise (she didn't even perform on the pyramid stage!) and Birmingham band Editors seeing a 134% rise from the previous week. Makes you wonder how many records would have been shifted had Glastonbury been broadcast when it began in 1970 (with 1,500 tickets sold and The Kinks headlining) and had that helpful tool ITunes been around! Check out Jigga below…