Britney’s eighth studio album, “Britney Jean,” may have failed to launch to the number one spot because of fierce competition from a plethora of other female pop stars and, well… her audience moved on.
“There are a couple of things here that are out of her control,” said Jeff Rabhan, chairman of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University and former manager for artists ranging from Kelly Clarkson to Jennifer Lopez to MTV News. “There’s such a glut of female pop stars right now with Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and Rihanna and pop radio is dominated by solo female artists, which is has been for several years. Culturally, people are getting a bit tired of it and they’re looking for other stars.”
But what may be the bigger issue is lack of promotion. Instead of on-stage performances showcasing her new music, Britney focused behind the curtain at a soundstage in Los Angeles rehearsing for her upcoming Las Vegas residency. The pop music industry is a different ballgame now than it was when Britney first hit the scene – and it’s showing in numbers.
“Who is her demographic now? It’s very hard to say,” Rabhan said. But we’re in an age where tireless promotion from artists like Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus is the new standard. “Except for some morning show appearances, she just hasn’t been that visible,” said Rabhan about Britney’s promo schedule this album, noting that shows like “Ellen” and “Good Morning America” appeal to a demo that is probably outside Britney’s “sweet spot.”
“[Back in the day] nobody would promote like she would,” he said of Britney’s earlier days. “But if Britney’s not out there, people will not be paying attention. Career-wise she’s in a different place where she’s more reliant on promotion to make noise and she just didn’t do that.”
MTV goes into the ~mother of two~ business as to why she may be promoting less, citing her business model’s changed thanks to her residency where she’s earning a reported $30 million over two years.
“She’s making a s—-ton of money from that residency, so her model has changed.”
Another reason for the loss in sales is because “Work *****” failed to connect to to radio. “It didn’t help that even ******** Britney apologists were just okay with [the song],” said Entertainment Weekly.
“You kind of live and die by the first single and people decided early on that the album wouldn’t work if that was the first single.”
“You can’t really blame her for gearing most of the promotion toward the Vegas show,” he said, noting that the money for her isn’t in album sales. Also timing may be a factor, considering Lady Gaga, Miley and Katy Perry were everywhere in music this year.
“We already got these full-court presses from [those three women] and Britney’s was not nearly as large as any of them and it came at the very end of the year. It may just be de facto diva exhaustion.”
From a business model, I completely see why Britney and Team would focus on Vegas, but as a music fan and artist and someone that likes to see Britney get number one on the charts… I don’t believe it should be one or the other. I also worry the general public catches wind of her recent decline in sales and that translates to a decline in ticket sales. You want to put out an album while gearing up for a Vegas residency, you betta work *****.