With Justin Bieber losing out “Best newcomer” Grammy to Esperanza Spalding, it got me thinking about why so much fuss gets made about child prodigies or “Tween” sensations.
Regarding “Bieber Fever”, I have come to the conclusion that I must live in a black hole because I swear 6 months ago I didn’t even know who Justin Bieber was thinking he was a Disney character from an animal movie (“Oh, BieBer”) and then it struck me, tween sensations stay famous for just the amount of time it takes to cross over to adulthood.
I started to wonder why the “sell-by date” is rather short reminiscing about how John Taylor from Duran Duran was going to be my husband (when I was 12-14) and I tried hard to think about why or when I dumped this idea. Ultimately it comes down to two main issues; first and foremost famous tweens eventually grow up and many become polluted ala Brittney Spears, La Lohan, (Miley Cyrus is close now) and they become just like the rest of us (or not) many ending up checking into rehab vs successfully crossing over to the adult entertainment world. Or secondly, the very fans that made them famous grow up and move onto bigger and better things (Prada handbags anyone?)
However, for the time tweens are tweens, they have become a huge potential market for hungry cooperations. Twenty million strong nationwide, tweens — defined as kids aged 8 to 14, often referred to as “Generation Z” or “digital natives” now flex $43 billion worth of annual spending power, according to Larissa Faw, editor at Youth Markets Alert, a trade newsletter based in New York City.
These young consumers receive an average weekly allowance of $12 each, up from only $5 in 2009. Despite family belt-tightening these days, parents still aren’t economizing on their kids. Plus, says Faw, “nearly half of their parents 47% provide an allowance knowing it will be spent rather than saved.” With approximately 10% of that pool being spent on Consumer electronics and music/books, it’s only natural then that Gen Z would rather spend their dollars on someone they aspire to look and be like as opposed to Mick Jagger from the Rolling Stones (how many 10 year olds just said “Who is the Rolling Stones?) and Recording studios know this, so the search for the next best teen sensation remains perenial
So non fans of JB, the countdown to irrelevance has begun. Our youngling is now 16 and anonymity plus the prospect of being on “Dancing with the stars 40” is not so far away. In the interim, I wish our young apprentice well since he may actually be one of the lucky ones that does make it. Maybe he needs to make friends with Justin Timberlake to get top tips