Remember the days, when record companies use to slip a radio station a
few extra hundred bucks to promote their favorite artist's latest
record? The term, "payola" derived from that practice. Today, those pay-offs are being replaced by a new 21st century social media updated version.
Donnie Wahlberg and the New Kids on the Block put a new spin on that old formula. They alerted their fan base to accept a challenge to tweet the call letters of radio stations that would play Wahlberg's new single, "I Got it," also featuring Aubrey O'Day.
It started with @virginradio96 on October 18, followed up by @Virgin953 and soon to be followed up with @hot103FM and @Hot957. As a result, instead of getting paid cash as in the days of payola, these radio stations get reimbursed with an extensive number of tweets by the fans. This rewards them handsomely by making their call letters a trending topic for a period of the day on Twitter...and hence giving birth to today's new form of payola... "Twayola!"
When any of the NKOTB band members send a shout-out (or tweet-out in this case) to their fans, affectionately called the "Blockheads," their fan base always rises to the occasion to do whatever bidding may be asked of them.
Back in April, I covered Jordan Knight's one-word tweet of "tink" that exploded onto the Twitterverse into a global frenzy of tens of thousands fans tweeting this word even though they had no idea what the word meant. Knight kept its meaning secret for over a week before he ran a contest for fans to determine the derivation of the word. Subsequently, "Tink before you tweet," became an inside joke for Blockheads worldwide, and t-shirts and other merchandise was sold online to support NKOTB's charity.
Fans can download the MP3 of Donnie's single which is packaged with Wahlberg's other cut called "Rise n Grind". Proceeds from these purchases go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and their continued fight against breast cancer.
Props to the NKOTB for continuing to use social media in interesting and unique ways to create excitement for theirAlice Willson fans while spreading quickfire viral buzz for the band. (And a special shout-out to one of the Blockheads' most avid fans, Ms. Alice Willson (@dwsmillionthhug) for bringing this story to my attention.
Donnie Wahlberg's Army t-shirt