Why "Winning" Isn't Always About Being First.

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When Billboard released its "Which Artists Will Dominate 2018?" poll, listing 27 of the biggest names in the music industry, the hugely popular K-pop franchises of BTS and EXO immediately leapt to a commanding lead with tens of thousands of votes being cast within hours. As their fan armies continue to grow in strength and numbers, results such as these are to be expected. The two fan armies will continue to battle it out in a two horse race, competing with each other as the number of votes continue to skyrocket.

So why is this of interest to Louis Tomlinson fans?

At the same time as the K-pop armies were gathering momentum and racking up their votes, another fanbase was staking their own claim, and it wasn't what people had expected, least of all Billboard.

Up against 24 other formidable artists such as Justin Beiber, Talyor Swift, Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes, Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga, Fifth Harmony, Ariana Grande, and Demi Lovato, all of whom have strong and dedicated fan bases, it was Louis Tomlinson who shot ahead of the pack to secure third place behind the K-pop groups

At the time of writing, BTS has 824,360 votes, EXO has 738,629, and Tomlinson has 11,272. He will not win this poll. There is absolutely no chance of that happening. Which begs the question, what is the point of voting if there is no hope of winning? The simple answer is exposure.

In the days after the poll was released, Billboard's Kevan Keeney presented a video feature on the poll and the results as they were shaping up at the time. The video was posted to their Twitter account which has 6.2 million followers and to their YouTube Channel with nearly 1.2 million subscribers.

Within four days, the tweet had amassed nearly 30,000 likes/retweets and the video had over 90,000 views.

In the video Kevan talks about “which artists will dominate the new year” and that their poll has “just about every single major player in the world of music right now”. He then goes on to highlight three standout artists; BTS, Camila Cabello, and Louis Tomlinson.

Tomlinson was included in this feature not because he was going to “win”, but because he was leading the remaining group of artists.

Kevan provides a positive commentary “...the newly turned solo star could be primed for a huge 2018 following up on 2017 hits like Back To You featuring Bebe Rexha and Digital Farm Animals which shot all the way to number 40 on the Billboard Hot 100…” with a clip of the Back To You Music video then being played.

This is fantastic promotion. It's positive and positions Tomlinson as someone who will be building on his success from 2017 and has kicked-off 2018 as an artist to watch. Billboard's broad-base audience means his name and music are being presented to many consumers who may not have been exposed to his music previously.

This isn't an industry award, it isn't anything that will have a concrete result other than this poll, and he may well end up losing his third place position over time. But does any of that actually matter? No it doesn't.

What Tomlinson's fans were able to achieve by voting hard from the outset, was a result that gained positive attention and exposure. Whilst he may not be first in the poll, the outcome is definitely still a win.


Written and edited by Rachel | Artwork by Rachel.

Rachel Marsden4 Comments