Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Stern Effect - American Idol Style

March 15, 2007

Howard Stern is once again showing that he, and the medium of satellite radio do carry influence in America.

While I am not a regular viewer of American Idol, I do catch the news clips that surround the show, and one can not help but be exposed to the show in reading the news. The latest bit of news surrounding American Idol revolves around one performer in particular.

Sanjaya Malakar is the new project of Howard Stern. In classic Stern fashion, hijinks's is the rule of the day, and American Idol offers a wonderful loophole to allow this to happen. Malakr, by all reports is not good enough to become the next American Idol. in fact, his latest performance was deemed terrible by the judges. Somehow though, Malakar survived and is still in the competition.

Thanks to the voting system, where America decides the outcome via telephone voting and text messaging, Malakar survived. Not because of his talent, (Stern chuckles at Malakars attempt to sing) but because Stern finds humor in asking his listeners to support this singer.


First and foremost is the humor of it. There is simply something humorous about watching a reality show get a dose of reality.

Second is to show the loyalty of his listeners, and how eager they are to participate in the process.

While those are likely reason enough for Stern, the issue could go deeper. each week as Malakar survives, it emboldens the listeners to continue the process, and shows America once again the weight that Stern carries in entertainment. a stunt such as this gives Stern more exposure, and by extension, Sirius. Advertisers will note Sterns audience loyalty as well, and this, over time, can lead to ad rates that will build to higher demand and more ad revenue.

As a casual observer, the sophomoric behavior may seem off beat, but in reality there are many who have an inward chuckle at the ruse, and that is why Stern enjoys great success. People who listen to Stern get to live vicariously through the show, and participate with anonymity.

Will American Idol be mad about these happenings? Perhaps, but they will also take in a lot of cash via text messages and ratings, as a whole segment of people who would otherwise not pay attention to the show begin to tune in.

The final episodes of this season of American Idol will be interesting to follow.

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3/15/2007 08:56:00 AM

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  • FYI, despite what you think, votefortheworst.com is the primary culprit behind the success of Sanjaya. Or in the very least, they did it together. To say that Stern is the reason is misleading.

    That website has been doing this since the 2004 season and has been very successful at it. In fact, Stern himself has talked about the website for several years now, crediting them. They have impressive web rankings too.

    Sanjaya is their pick and they even thanked Stern on their site this week for the plugs.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 15, 2007 11:36 AM  

  • You are correct that votefortheworst.com is a big part of this. It is the pro,motion of Stern that drives the success of this however.

    Perhaps I could have been more clear about that.

    Stern is still, in my opinion, the vehicle that gets the attention, and carries the fan support that makes things like this happen.

    By Blogger SSG, at March 15, 2007 12:44 PM  

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