Thesis: Adam Lambert’s next single off of The Original High should be “The Original High,” Adam should start promoting the song to pop radio in late February, and should release a clever, catchy music video approximately two months later, in late April.
First of all, let’s all take a moment to bask in the glory of Adam’s first ever gold-certified single in the United States, representing sales (and streaming equivalents after May 2013) of 500,000: “Ghost Town.” What what?
Aside: How is “Ghost Town” the first certified single? Didn’t “Whataya Want From Me,” which was a #10 hit on the overall Hot 100 (“Ghost Town” peaked at #64) sell more copies? The answer is: YES. “Whataya Want From Me” has sold at least 2 million copies in the United States, according to Billboard. Theoretically, then, “Whataya Want From Me” should have double-platinum certification. I have no idea why RCAA has been sitting on its hands.
Current Status of “Another Lonely Night”
Adam Lambert’s followup single, “Another Lonely Night,” has had a more meager performance, both in the United States and globally. It peaked on US pop songs at #43, with just under 3 million weekly audience impressions. It has fallen to #49 with 1.299 million weekly audience impressions over the 7 days ending Saturday, January 23rd. On Hot Adult Contemporary (Adult Pop), the song has had stronger fortunes and is currently at its peak measuring by spins (#25; 1205/week), and just below its peak by audience impressions (4.319 million/week, after a slight dip today).
It is possible that “Another Lonely Night” could continue rising on HAC/Adult Pop, or that it could eventually break into a new format (like Adult Contemporary), but I think it would be generous to expect it to peak higher than #15. Assuming that it were to continue rising into the top 20 on Adult Pop, it would need to more than double its current audience impressions (to 10-11 million, 15 million+ to get into the top 15). That would take several months at a minimum. I am a little bit skeptical. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the song eventually doubled its current audience impressions and peaked at, for example, #22 on Adult Pop.
Whatever happens with “Another Lonely Night,” however, its fate at radio is probably already sealed. To the extent that it is still dependent on label promotion, I subjectively hope the label continues to promote it. But, to the extent that it is being ignored, Adam Lambert should focus on making a splash with “The Original High.”
“The Original High” Should be the Next Single
“The Original High” is an obvious single choice after “Another Lonely Night.” Alternatives include “Rumors” (which features Tove Lo, who is hot in pop music right now) and “Underground.” I assume that “The Original High” is eventually going to be a single, and I think there is consensus that it should be promoted with an eye towards summer play. Since it will take several months to build radio airplay, it should be the next single and I would advocate early promotion.
Aside: I’d love to see Adam release a song like “Shame” as a single. It’s extremely catchy and playful. It carries a relatable and distinctive lyrical theme that is emblemized in a single-word title (A single word title is a feature of a disproportionate share of hit songs; I wonder if a clunky title hurt “Another Lonely Night”‘s chances at success.). It would be interesting to see the label release this song as a later single, and give it modest production (unless they have a really good idea for a clever music video, in which case, they could go all in). The simplicity of the song is its strength, and I could see it being a risky, but potentially lucrative bet.
Proposed Release Date: February 25th
I am advocating an early release. Past experience suggests that Adam’s single is likely to build at a relatively modest rate early on, even if it is likely to catch fire later. I expect that the song will need several months to steadily build airplay before it can reach a critical threshold of 60% pop audience familiarity that qualifies it for the published Callout Research Report, which would theoretically show radio programmers that Americans have a generally favorable reaction to the song (and show the label that the song is worth investing in).
An early radio promotion date of February 25th has the added benefit of allowing Adam to promote the single directly WHILE HE IS ON TOUR in the USA.
February 25th is well after Valentine’s Day. Adam should be thinking about how he can promote “Another Lonely Night” as the holiday ballad of Singles Awareness Day 2016. He should say something publicly about the song being a holiday song or a tribute to marginalized singles on that day (Pun: the song itself is a marginalized single). Holiday singles have a way of coming back year after year, and paying off dividends in the long run.
Adam Lambert should tweet something like:
@AdamLambert: “Hereby dedicating my marginalized single, #AnotherLonelyNight to all the marginalized singles on #SinglesAwarenessDay2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JT_xnNh5wbE”
I can’t imagine a tweet like that NOT getting coverage from every blog and gossip site on the web. Basically ROFLOL just writing this.
Aside to Adam Lambert’s legal department: I hereby grant a license to Adam Lambert (and his team) to use any of my copywritten words that appear in this blog post (no attribution required), should they so desire.
Anyways, a radio promotion date of February 25th gives Adam’s team a little bubble to deal with anything that happens on Valentines Day. Of course, if they are planning on doing something big on Valentines day with the intention of reigniting the single, they should plan the radio add date for March.
Don’t Release the Music Video Immediately
The debut of a music video is an EVENT. Especially if the team puts a lot of hard work into making an exceptionally clever music video, the music video event should be carefully timed. Adam Lambert doesn’t need a music video in order to generate a base level of radio interest in his single – he has his celebrity to do that. Therefore, there is no need to release the music video at the same time that the song is initially promoted to radio (or a month in advance, as in the case of “Another Lonely Night”). Instead, Adam should wait until the song has neared a critical threshold of radio airplay, and then he should release a clever music video (capable of going viral) as an event, which ignites the single and causes the acceleration of sales and publicity characteristic of a legitimate hit.
Adam Lambert is going to be on tour, performing “The Original High” at venues across the United States all through March, April, and May. He should use that platform to promote his music.
Adam is a celebrity. Not only that, but he has one of the most ravenous cult core fan groups of any celebrity in the world. Online news sources know that if they can publish something about Adam Lambert, they will get a solid chunk of views. A tweet about Adam Lambert has an essentially guaranteed chunk of retweets. This is extremely valuable, and Adam needs to take advantage of it to promote his singles.
Adam needs to periodically say or do things that blogs and news organizations can write about, and then he can stay in the public’s consciousness. He can boost his celebrity value, and he can draw radio programmers to his single. Specifically, somebody on his team should be thinking of clever ways to capitalize on the online media’s fascination with attracting views from Glamberts. Many Glamberts, themselves, would be more than happy to assist with the brainstorming process for free.
Any Glamberts reading this: please feel free to post your ideas of ways that Adam can better capitalize on the media below.
Adam should carefully calibrate release of The Original High to take maximum advantage of all of the tools that he has at his disposal. He should release the music video only after a certain level of successful promotion to pop radio. He should consider:
- his tour — as an advertising platform;
- the media’s interest in pursuing Glambert readers — as an advertising platform; and
- the generation of “an event,” such as a new theme song for Singles Awareness Day, or the dropping of a clever, viral new music video — as an advertising platform.
Do you agree? What do you think Adam Lambert should do to better focus his rise to superstardom?