Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Sony to Jedward: “you’re dropped!” Jedward to Sony: “ROFLOL”

There has been a lot of online comment and plenty of predictable snarky schadenfreude about the news that Sony Music are saying goodbye to pop culture sensations Jedward after their debut single “Under Pressure” failed to hit Number One. The …

Wed, Mar 17, 2010, 05:59

   

There has been a lot of online comment and plenty of predictable snarky schadenfreude about the news that Sony Music are saying goodbye to pop culture sensations Jedward after their debut single “Under Pressure” failed to hit Number One.

The duo’s manager Louis Walsh has been typically bullish about this and well he might. Walsh will have seen the numbers from Jedward’s sellout debut Irish tour (the surefire box office hits for the Irish nation in spring 2010 have been Jedward and Dara O Briain), counted the money brands are willing to pay to be associated with the Grimes’ twins and looked at the schedule of meetings about TV shows and other non-music opportunities.

The revenue from all of the above is not conditional on a terrible single going to Number One. Chart-topping may help, but it’s not essential in the greater scheme of things. As the always astute Peter Robinson points out, “you don’t need a record contract to take up a role with ITV2 as The Xtra Factor’s roving reporters”. As people guffaw about the duo getting dropped, the brothers themselves are laughing all the way to the bank.

Far more interesting is to have a look at Sony Music’s role in all of this. The band signed to the label back in January, but it was never revealed what sort of a deal was inked. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it was just for one single with options for an album depending on the performance of that release (which would explain the rapid rise and fall of the twins’ tenure with the label). A label like Sony signing a novelty act like Jedward to a longer term deal would not make sense on any level as the record business heads for the last chance saloon.

Yet even if it was just for one single, it’s hard to know what Sony hoped to achieve from this. As Walsh and the duo know, the cash is elsewhere and getting that cash does not require having or even pretending to possess any semblance of musical talent. But even given what has now transpired, Sony will never be able to get a chunk of that coin. Their only way to get some of that loot was to sign the duo to a different kind of contract, one with a medium to long term outlook, and that was obviously never going to happen. Instead, Sony Music has invested time and cash in promoting and plugging an one-off single where the only beneficaries, aside from the song’s writers and publishers, are Team Jedward. Not quite the great rock’n'roll swindle, but it makes you wonder who are the real dopes in all of this.