Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Forever Yours, A Diagnosis.

So last week, Alex Day from the internet made his way to Number 4 in the UK christmas charts with his song Forever Yours. A catchy pop song that is unlike pretty much everything else in the top 5 aside from perhaps Coldplay, in a sense that its not a cover song, a parody or a campaign. Its simply a guy who happens to have an internet following releasing a song and getting high enough in the charts solely on the back of this. Its a historical feat in the charts, because it proves that with iTunes and Amazon you can effectively "chart-jack" (to paraphrase a previous attempt at the UK charts) and get your song on the radio out seemingly nowhere.

And to everyone who doesn't regularly go on the internet, it did come out of nowhere. I can picture the bosses at Radio 1 trying to figure out who this guy is who has shot into the charts before christmas and why have we never heard of him before!

What caught my eye more than anything was the press, in every form. Almost every interview with Alex or someone who was writing up on it had literally no clue how to go about reporting this, because they don't know how the internet works. They littered their articles with random "facts" which differed in every one. From Alex being the number 1 subscribed youtube account, or that he is 18, or that he is sponsored by a hair company. Sometimes just forgetting the awesome fact that every penny goes to World Vision, a charity that Alex is an avid supporter of.

In fact the most concise account of Alex's rise to mainstream fame was from a small Channel 4 blog post from the "young writers" section. Proving that younger journalists and bloggers have more input to these stories.

Basically it proved how completely out of touch mainstream media is. The fact that they avoid doing basic background research on their pieces because they literally can't be bothered, all the way down to just not being able to understand the partnership program with Google. Mainstream media has literally no idea what to do with this story. For me it just reinforced how to get the best, most thorough news stories, you simply can't rely on mainstream media.

Saying that, false accounts or not, they certainly helped Alex get the word out about his single, but the legwork and getting him into the charts came from his fans. Alex just has these people to thank for getting him where he is in the UK Singles Chart right now. Everyone else comes second to them.

Meanwhile, all last week I was selling a Forever Yours poster on my store, raising money to go towards WorldVision too. Altogether we sold 42 posters raising £210 for charity! So thank you to everyone who bought a poster, and if it isn't with you already, it will be soon :)

-Jonny

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