Britain’s Got Talent star Susan Boyle is a You Tube hit with over 100m views
Susan Boyle became a household name after appearing on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent. Now her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from “Les Miserables,” has now been viewed by over 100 million people on You Tube making her more popular than US President Barack Obama.
Her success clearly highlights the power of the relationship between television and the web. TV gave Susan Boyle a platform, the web made her an international star. Increasing web awareness then subsequently drives up TV audiences.
The web traffic which has driven Boyle’s international profile has done wonders for ITV. Britain’s Got Talent is regularly pulling in 12 million viewers each week, its highest ever audience, as viewers tune in see to the likes of Susan Boyle audition for the chance to perform in front of the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance.
It this relationship, between the internet and television, which is crucial to securing the future of television as advertising revenue, continues to fall. It is clear that harnessing the potential in mass multi-platform cross-overs have the potential to bring significant rewards for all the members at the Britain’s Got Talent table. However, whilst the Susan Boyle phenomenon highlights a number of new ways to generate revenue and expand big power brands in other markets around the world, the speed with which Susan Boyle became such a big star raises some issues.
Sourcing and capitalising on these elements early is crucial. The failure to get advertising into the clips of Susan Boyle which have been watched by over 100 million people around the world was a big mistake which has cost ITV millions. If ITV is going to cash in on its products, then it needs to find ways to align with video websites like YouTube, to find ways that both sites can benefit financially. ITV.com is not a stronger enough brand from which to build this multi-platform content. Whilst it works for the BBC with likes of Dragons’ Den Online, ITV needs to realise the greater marketability of its content. Shows like Britain’s Got Talent are no longer solely dependent on ratings, whilst they are important, in the growing multimedia age and the world of Web 2.0, the sooner ITV acts on this the better. Otherwise they will fail to bring in much needed revenue from the next Susan Boyle.