Now, in 2010, I anticipate the next big content creation boom to come from teen music creators.
Earlier this summer, we witnessed teens from dozens of states parody Katy Perry's song, "California Gurls" on YouTube, and in the process create a digitally disruptive sensation in the user-created content space. "Minnesota Gurls" received north of one million hits and even the guys are jumping on the mic. "North Dakota Bois" is nearing 500,000 views and the parodies are even spreading into the Canadian regions.
And it's not just a one-hit wonder. Just this week, Perry's latest single, "Teenage Dream," was parodied extensively and lucky teens' videos received official Twitter callouts from Katy's twitter handle.
While being recognized by your favorite artist of all time must feel pretty damn special, how about making it onto the Billboard charts or, better yet, selling hundreds of thousands of copies on iTunes for a video that took you 30 minutes to make with an iPhone. Antoine Dodson and the Gregory Brothers' "Bed Intruder Song'" broke into the Billboard charts at #89, sold nearly 100,000 copies on iTunes and landed at No. 39 on the iTunes singles charts.
We've been talking for a while about how TV shows will go head to head with young, eager content creators with built in online fan bases, but now we are seeing an opp for wild music videos and mashups to go head to head with the Jay Z's of the world.
So what does this all mean to marketers looking to engage teens? For one, the most successful campaigns encourage parodying. Old Spice is the most recent example of this with hundreds of great parody videos on YouTube which ultimately extend the franchise and allow consumers to add their own custom flare. So, as a marketer, your goal should be to make your content parody-worthy.
Additionally, reward the viewers and the creators together. Jay Z encouraged his fans to remake the song "Empire State of Mind" and flew in a real fan to his next show to perform the top track. Viewers could vote on their favorite parody -- or shall I call it a re-make -- and if their track gets selected, they win a copy of the track on iTunes plus an exclusive Jay Z track.
Brands can think the same way. Look at the popularity of the video "Swagger Wagon" from Toyota. Consumers would love for a chance to parody this video at a live event where the car is showcased. Brands also have the ability to leverage large assets such as big-time event sponsorships, retail displays, social media assets, etc. So, the next time you are thinking of having your brand repped by Justin Bieber, why not conceive a cutting-edge way to give rising teen stars a chance to have some fun, create some wackiness and dream up some crazy entertainment. In the process, you may just become the next major record label.
Teens are taking their wacky signing routines out of the bathrooms and bedrooms and will soon be tearing up iTunes charts. I would predict it's not long before we see a YouTube star reach platinum selling status.
In conclusion, I anticipate that this upcoming holiday season, flip cams and iPhones will undoubtedly be highly in-demand stocking stuffers amongst teen fame seekers. Teens will start to put out quick content surrounding cultural events, themes and trends and, in doing so, will begin to generate real income, huge fan bases, and a ton of fun and fame in the process. Hell, I may even throw a dope track down about Facebook coming to a YouTube channel near you ...