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Reality television shows are as much a form of entertainment as they’ve become a marketing strategy. To the viewer, the purpose of the cast is to entertain. But that may not be the case for all cast members. In fact, a lot of those who do agree to take part in reality television agree with the ulterior motive of self-promotion; and reality shows happen to be one of the best forms of advertisement for those in the music industry in this day.
Let’s break it down; the drama that occurs on the shows sparks the interest of television fans. That interest often transfers over to the artists’ personal musical vendettas, by careful arrangement. These shows are pre-recorded, so artists can plan to release some form of their music around the same time where gossip and disorder in the series is at an all-time high.
Take the show Love & Hip Hop for example. In the third season, the directors chose to spice things up, including Joe Budden and his ex-girlfriend Tahiry as part of the cast. At this time, Budden had been dating the young amateur model Kaylin Garcia. However, it was ever evident throughout the season that Budden’s feelings for Tahiry had never fallen short, creating a messy love triangle. It was during this chaos where Budden decided to drop his third solo studio album “No Love Lost”.
Budden’s personal life had blown up all over social media. Everybody had an opinion; he was the trending topic on Twitter for weeks. Fans of the show converted to fans of his music and vice-versa. Knowing this, as an artist, it was clear he wanted to take advantage and use his presence on the show as the initial attention grabber for his upcoming record.
When “No Love Lost” finally released, it debuted at #15 on the US Billboard 200 chart. His last solo album, Mood Muzik 4: A Turn 4 The Worst, dropped in 2010 and debuted at #94 on the very same chart.
Most critics said his content and style weren’t much different from his past works’. It was simply his role on television that influenced his popularity dramatically. By stepping out of the musical realm and into the eyes of a TV audience, he expanded his fan base and exposed himself to people who may have never even heard of him before.
This is one of the most successful forms of marketing for artists trying to make it in the industry. Getting their name and persona on screen reveals parts about them that may not be expressed in their music. Spectators get to know what type of person they are: their values, interests and personalities. This forms a whole new bond between the artist and their audiences. If their character on television is liked by the viewers, there’s a chance that viewer will turn into a listener. It’s all about staying relevant no matter what medium they dabble in as an artist.