Written by By Izzi Triana, CNN
Fresh faces, eccentric characters and electric energy make their debuts on the popular WWAD (“World of Anthem Ate My Life”) show in 2015. This year, with another group of YouTube successes ready to follow, “Grown Millennials” are likely to throw the spotlight on a sector that might better be known for showcasing a somewhat less hip version of themselves: pop stars.
So far, the first order of business for artists in their third year of making pop music is to close the gap between them and their Millennial counterparts.
“These Millennial artists haven’t been able to make money for the same reasons we have, to be able to afford their own production, equipment and manage their budget better,” says Ben Rosen, CEO of Soundtrack Advisors
That means new partnerships with brands, and the influx of cash which will go into production — both for the artist themselves and for the digital platforms they find fame on.
“Artists today are in a weird situation, they need a brand to have a home. The star has to be a multiplatform artist,” says Michael Fertik, founder of Fertik Marketing.
For example, the singer Sebastian Stan, now in his fourth year of performing on WWAD, has partnered with prestigious record label Polydor and major wireless headphone manufacturer Skullcandy.
High hopes for the Popstars of 2020
To manage this influx of money, new talent will need to take advantage of the new business opportunities available to them.
“When they’re on the whole stage, at their peak, they’ll have more money invested in them,” explains one panelist.
For the Millennial contingent, such growth seems assured.
“You’d like to think that we’re still the dominant force and that [Gen Z] might grow up wanting to be more like us, while we’re still working,” says Summer Cohen, creative manager at Starcom MediaVest Group.
Given that Gen Zers are already making their mark in the tech space — with growing ad revenues, and even a new sub-studio, Gen Z Cultura — what can they bring to the pop music industry?
Nadine Bauer, producer of an upcoming all-female music video, thinks that Gen Z are better business-minded than you might think.
“Gen Z is probably good at the startup culture,” she says.
In a business environment that, despite the efforts of CEOs and venture capitalists, seems to be struggling to find success, Gen Z will likely bring a fresh-faced, and ambitious approach to the industry.
These will become leaders, seen as capable and hungry. But do they really have what it takes to lead young artists into the future?
‘Hello Kitty effects’ rule Popstars
These days, there are so many different types of artists being created — and featured on WWAD.
“When we started WWAD in ’11, we saw the enormous amount of virtual kids up on stage,” says Simon Wiesenthal, managing director of WWAD.