Suenigma | Indy Week

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Re: “American Idol and its great colony of semi-stars, like David Cook

A very interesting, very well written article with some though provoking ideas and cogent points. And that caricature is dope!! Unfortunately you were so intent on servicing your original thesis that you excluded a number of rather significant pieces of information that might have diluted the semi-tragic message. :)

First of all, Cook is not just a "Tulsa song-writer self-releasing his record" - your implication being that he is right back to where he started from before Idol. He is actually a Nashville based musician with a budding career as a songwriter, having written a Top 20 country hit for David Nail - Kiss You Tonight. Indeed, he has enough credibility in the industry to have recently signed a major publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Nashville.

Secondly, his recording career is not precisely as pathetic as the picture you paint either. With Digital Vein, Cook entered the Billboard 200 at #4 on the Pop Album Chart, #8 Indie Album, #16 Digital album, #22 Album sales #35 Sales plus Streaming - all of which is pretty remarkable for a DIY album in this era of diminished album sales. By comparison, he substantially outsold Leona Lewis, Katherine McPhee and Jordin Sparks, all of whom released albums at the same time as he did - poor Sparks didn't even make the BB 200. All three of those artists are on Major Labels, I might point out.

His Pledgemusic campaign was successful by any metric, and he will certainly have made more money as an Indie than if he had sold the same or more under a major.

"It's been truly thrilling seeing this album debut so high in the charts, " says Scott Graves, head of talent relations at PledgeMusic. "This has been one of our most fascinating and successful campaigns on the site to date."

He also managed to secure exclusives and premiers for this album with VHI, Yahoo, Billboard and People, to name a few, and has done a significant amount of in-studio radio promo. Not every Indie or Idol artist is so fortunate.

Obviously he didn't receive the promotional support that a Major brings, including the attendant TV appearances and expensive radio push, so there was no way to sustain those impressive first week sales. But hey, he made a whack of money doing it his way, and was able to launch an extensive tour, with a cool new tour sponsor and a big, shiny bus and everything, so it's all good. :)

34 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Suenigma on 11/11/2015 at 2:07 PM

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