I was pleasantly surprised to see that my video “How to unwrap a CD” has been watched 1,000 times in the last 48 hours.
I do feel rather upstaged, though, by ten-year-old Jackie Evancho. Her appearance on America’s Got Talent has been viewed 420,000 times in the same period. Perhaps I should have sung Puccini.
Is she the next Susan Boyle? Possibly, but they’re not identical: Jackie is ten years old. She’s competing to win a show in Vegas, not a record deal. She already has an album and it includes “O mio babino caro”. Although there aren’t enough physical copies of the album to result in meaningful sales at physical retail, it’s quickly climbing the charts in digital stores where these crossover products traditionally underperform. Don’t even get me started on the cover.
Does having an indie product in the marketplace make her more or less likely to get a successful (or at least lucrative) record deal out of all this? Was the Susan Boyle phenomenon a one-off? Would Susan Boyle’s album have sold better if it had been available right away? Can a ten-year-old child headline in Vegas? What are her parents thinking? Is the average ten-year-old child really any less equipped to handle this than a mentally ill middle-aged woman with learning difficulties?
Predictions in viral marketing are subject to such massive cumulative error that there’s no point guessing where this will end up, but one thing is for sure: as this plays out, it’ll be more interesting to watch than it was to hear.