YouTube Star Connor Franta’s Strange Rise on the Billboard Top 200
This article originally appeared in The Daily Dot
By Rae Votta
Connor Franta is not a singer, but he’s got an album in the Billboard Top 200 all the same. That’s because the YouTube superstar is using his social influence to curate and promote a compilation album to his loyal fan base.
Franta’s new initiative, “Crown,” is a mixture of pop and alternative tracks that caught the 22-year-old’s ear as he’s been exploring his musical tastes this year.
“I’ve always enjoyed music, and I’ve gotten into it way more this year because of Spotify,” Franta told the Daily Dot. “I started building playlists and finding more artists and genres that I had never heard of or was into. These artists had really good music but low play counts.”
To help up the profile of his new favorite musicians with the help of his millions of social media followers, Franta joined forces with Opus Label, a music distribution and licensing company that focuses on celebrity-helmed compilation releases using the power of social media. The idea started when company co-founder Jeremy Wineberg partnered with Perez Hilton to promote compilation albums of the music Hilton frequently promoted on his website.
“The concept with Connor is basically the same. It’s sharing your playlist at that moment in time with your fans, and using primarily social media to sell your music,” Wineberg explained. “Connor came with 12 artists that he loves, mostly new artists that haven’t really been promoted before. Through Twitter and Facebook and YouTube, we were able to get him to number 12 in the [iTunes] pop music store. We moved 30,000 albums on streaming sites and close to 3,000 albums just on iTunes.”
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