Super Bowl hustle: Halftime show provides a bump for Katy Perry, Missy Elliot

Katy Perry shark dancing

The Patriots may have carried off the Lombardi Trophy Sunday night, but there were three other winners in the University of Phoenix Stadium: the halftime performers.

Headliner Katy Perry, Missy Elliott and (to a lesser extent) Lenny Kravitz will all get a financial boost from the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show, which drew a record 118 million viewers, according to Nielsen. The three musicians’ song streams and album sales are already on the rise.

“Being on the Super Bowl remains one of the most valuable marketing opportunities for any artist,” said Mark Mulligan, cofounder and analyst at Midia Consulting.

On Spotify, streams of Katy Perry songs increased 85 percent from the hour before the Super Bowl to the hour between 11 p.m. and midnight. Her top-performing track was “Teenage Dream,” which jumped 139 percent on the music-streaming service after she performed the hit single onstage. Kravitz’s streams more than doubled during that timeframe, rising 103 percent in the hour following the game. But Missy Elliott proved the night’s big winner, with her streams swelling 676 percent on Spotify after her Super Bowl performance.

“Missy stole the show. It was a big deal,” said Jeremy Skaller, a longtime music producer and cofounder of Orange Factory Music. “I’m sure brands are going to reach out [for sponsorships]. … Nostalgia absolutely sells tickets and fuels marketing campaigns.”

Elliott’s dominance extended to the iTunes sales charts, where she had three songs in the top 10 on Monday afternoon. Neither Perry nor Kravitz reached iTunes’ top 10 singles chart, but Perry’s albums “Teenage Dream” and “Prism” occupied the No. 5 and 7 spots, respectively, on iTunes’ top 10 albums chart Monday afternoon.

iTunes top albums
Top-selling albums on iTunes (Feb. 2, 2015)

“Prism” has already sold 1.6 million copies, while “Teenage Dream” has sold 2.9 million. Both are likely to experience sizable sales boosts this coming week, based on data for past Super Bowl headliners. Last year, Bruno Mars’ album “Unorthodox Jukebox” sold 15,000 copies the week before the Super Bowl, 42,000 copies the week of the Super Bowl, and 81,000 copies the week after the Super Bowl, according to Nielsen. Beyoncé, Madonna, The Black Eyed Peas and The Who all experienced sales spikes following their Super Bowl performances, too, though none as massive as Mars’.

But the biggest return on a Super Bowl performance today lies outside stream and download metrics, several analysts agreed. Sales and streams get an upward jolt but quickly return to their earlier trends, according to Bob Lefsetz, author of music analysis newsletter The Lefsetz Letter. The awareness the halftime show generates, however, has a longer-lasting impact.

“For most artists, music sales are only a quarter of the total revenue mix, with live, merchandise, sponsorship and publishing making up the rest,” Mulligan said. “So the success metrics for an appearance on the Super Bowl are focused around immediate sponsorship revenue and longer-term concert sales uplift.”

In a new twist on Super Bowl monetization, Perry used the halftime show appearance to sell products to her fans. In a partnership with Universal Music Group and halftime show sponsor Pepsi, the singer touted limited-edition items through Twitter, YouTube, Shazam and other platforms, including a furry, purple Super Bowl dress. The companies behind the campaign have yet to release sales data, but music industry expert Sam Howard-Spink praised the initiative as a smart monetization vehicle.

“The value proposition to Katy Perry is one she has to seek to exploit herself,” said Howard-Spink, a professor in New York University’s music business program. “Her fame isn’t going to suddenly increase, but her ability to market differentiated goods to different audience members and segments will improve a lot.”

E-commerce experiments aside, the Super Bowl halftime show is a phenomenal way to bolster or revive an artist’s personal brand.

“When Missy stepped onto the big stage, instantly all of her non-musical endeavors can start to be monetized,” said Skaller. “And for Katy, if I was a major brand looking for a star, she’s at the forefront of my mind.”

Homepage image courtesy Northerer6 / reddit

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