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Going Gaga on the Gridiron
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Going Gaga on the Gridiron

In just a few short days, the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots will go head to head in the biggest U.S. sporting event of the year: Super Bowl LI. Year after year, the Super Bowl is the most-watched broadcast on U.S. television—and not just because of the action on the gridiron. Not only do people tune in for the ads, but the event is also drawing increasing audiences for the halftime performance, effectively making the halftime musical performance the biggest concert of the year.

The upside for artists performing at halftime can be huge. Enjoying more than just a boost in exposure, featured artists see lifts in their music consumption and measureable increases in their own brand equity. When Coldplay performed in 2016, sales and streams of their music increased more than 300% the week of their performance, and consumer perceptions about the band increased by double-digits. Nielsen measures consumer sentiment with its syndicated N-Score solution, and Coldplay’s values for “Awareness,” “Influence” and “Success” increased more than 10% from the prior year. Interestingly, Beyoncé, who sang her single “Formation” as a special guest in the 2016 halftime show, saw a spike in sales as a result of her performance but a drop in her “Likeability” N-Score.

This year’s halftime show will feature Lady Gaga, who has sold and streamed 16.8 million albums in the U.S. since her debut album in 2008. Having Lady Gaga as the featured performer for the Pepsi-sponsored halftime show could prove to be an inspired choice. Gaga sang the National Anthem for Super Bowl 50 last year, and her sales and streams jumped 25% that week. Her most recent album, Joanne, had over 435,000 sales in 2016, capping a year of high-profile performances that included the GRAMMY Awards and the Oscars. Perhaps this year’s halftime sponsor is a perfect match for Gaga, as her fans spend more money on soda each year than the average consumer, especially households with teen Gaga fans and LGBT households with Gaga fans. .

For a full round up of the top selling albums of the year, download the 2016 U.S. Music Year-End Report.