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"We started with the marketing, picking the songs and the pre-production, and only then plugged in the artist."
——Martin Kirkup, Direct Management

"POPSTARS" MAKE
MULTIMEDIA MOVES

Prefabs Sprout A Smash With AOLTW Synergy On TV, Record, Online, Print
You've got convergence.

If the brand-spanking-new AOLTW needed an example of its new-found synergy, it couldn't do better than the current 13-episode WB reality TV show, "Popstars," which brings together the company's network, record company, print and Internet holdings into a blueprint for the Brave New World of entertainment-industry consolidation.

"Popstars," originally developed by Stone Stanley Entertainment in New Zealand before the successful "Making The Band"-type concept was transported to the U.K. and America, among other countries, traces the various steps in putting together an all-female vocal group. Segments include initial auditions, picking the finalists, vocal training, dance rehearsals, recording the album, promotional appearances, live concerts, making the video and getting ripped off by a former manager.

The group, Eden's Crush, selected by a committee of music industry professionals from more than 1,000 hopefuls, has already produced the #1 single "Get Over Yourself," with 500k albums hitting retail May 1 on WMG labels London-Sire and 143 Records. The latter's David Foster, who has been instrumental in developing the group, served as executive producer of the album.

London-Sire President/CEO Peter Koepke described the project as the perfect way to jump-start his label. "It was marvelous to get access to the whole AOLTW machine," he said. "This put us on the map. We worked on this project for close to nine months. It was great to help develop it from scratch, especially with a TV show where music plays such a substantial role. We got to be an integral part of the process. Hey, it worked for the Monkees, didn't it?"

Direct Management's Martin Kirkup who, along with partner Steven Jensen, serve as music managers for Stone Stanley, said the process stood the traditional set-up on its head.  "We started with the marketing, picking the songs and the pre-production, and only then plugged in the artist." 

  • "Get Over Yourself," which is the show's theme song, generated #1 phones at Z100 N.Y. after its March 13 release. The commercial single includes vocal, instrumental and Spanish-language versions, as well as personal messages from individual members Ana Maria Lombo, Maile Misajon, Nicole Scherzinger, Ivette Sosa, Rosanna Tavarez and first runner-up Shirley Schwartzberg and has already shipped Gold.
  • MTV aired all 12 episodes of the series over the weekend, while the group appeared on "TRL" Thursday (4/5), promoting the final episode of the series the following night (4/6).
  • The group made an in-store appearance at Chicago's Sam Goody the week of the single's release, drawing 1,500 kids in a snowstorm, with wristbands handed out by local station B96.
  • AOL offered the single exclusively online the weekend before it went on sale, generating 66,000 downloads. An online "Win an Eden's Crush Makeover" contest drew 77,000 entrants. There will also be a promotion for the album release on the AOL homepage.
  • Features have run in such AOLTW publications as Time, Teen People and People En Espanol.
  • Eden's Crush will open for NSYNC this summer.

London-Sire Executive VP/ GM Barbara Seltzer called WB's use of the single as the show's theme the key to its success: "Three weeks before the single was in stores, they were promoting the release date. The advertising and marketing departments at the WB are the reasons why this really went over the top—not to mention my background vocals."

REPUBLIC UPS GOLDSTEIN, ROPPO TO CO-PRESIDENTS
Team Lipman doubles up. (11/26a)
MAYBE, JUST MAYBE:
HOLIDAY CHEER IS HERE
Season's bleatings (11/23a)
COUNTRY GRAMMYS' ROOTS ARE SHOWING
Deck the Grammys with boughs of Holly. (11/24a)
THE BRITISH
ARE COMING
Rolling out our U.K. Special print issue (11/24a)
AND THE GRAMMY NOMINEES ARE...
Olivia, the Biebs, H.E.R., Doja Cat, Billie and Jon Batiste lead the way. (11/24a)
TURKEY
Basting.
STUFFING
Stuffing.
YAMS
Candying.
PUMPKIN PIE
Stuffing (in face).
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