The Tweet Smell of Success

Lady Gaga has done what many in the industry thought to be impossible; she’s knocked Oprah Winfrey from the number one position in Forbes 100 Most Powerful Celebrities.

Clearly, having a media empire that rivals that of many small countries isn’t quite enough when it comes to taking on the sheer power house of Twitter. Naturally, 10 million followers’ trumps a ‘mere’ 5.9 million any day of the week, and you don’t have to have your own production company to get them; but some talent, and an incredible marketing and business brain, helps a lot.

Of course, Twitter isn’t the only online platform giving rise to the ‘overnight’ music phenomena. YouTube, and the 500 million views of a certain music video, jumped Justin Bieber into the public consciousness, and into number 3, with his breakthrough hit “Baby”.

Also, young Mr. Bieber is vying with Lady Gaga for the top spot on Twitter, with his 9.7 million followers. It looks like the race for number one is on.

What about some of the other players in the social media arena?

Well, it looks like the lady takes the prize here, too. Even with 36 million fans on social media giant, Facebook, Eminem may as well be ‘8 mile’ behind as he has to settle for second place; I’m sure she could ‘just dance’ after hearing that.

However, the last laugh may be the privilege of Oprah after all. Despite not being top of the Forbes 100 Most Powerful Celebrities, she has a nice, healthy, and not too shabby $290 million worth of earnings for last year to comfort her. Poor old Lady Gaga, and little Justin, only made $90 million and $53 million respectively; though I’m sure they would take that, wouldn’t you?

While it seems that traditional media is still bringing in the money, the popularity behind the stars seems to be, in a large part, based on other newer and more widely available media sources. It also seems that many of these media companies are commanding the big bucks to go with the tag of ‘the power behind the popularity’ i.e. LinkedIn, which won’t be as familiar to you if you aren’t involved in the online business side of things, has been valued at $4.25 billion. Not bad for a relatively unknown company, is it?

Are we all floating on the top of another dot com bubble? It’s hard to say, at the moment. There are plenty of differences to the boom and bust time of the late ’90’s, and lessons have been learnt, but have enough been learnt to make sure the opportunities offered this time around aren’t wasted?

Can social media sites really make money for their users? Let’s just say that not all of the stars are as well known as the ones mentioned above; and that’s something that they’re more than happy about.

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