Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Gennaro Castaldo Watch: The difference between the NME and Brit awards

For those of you uncertain about the difference between the NME Awards and the Brit Awards - and, frankly, apart from the attitude towards Mika it can be hard to tell - Gennaro Castaldo has popped up on Newsbeat to explain:

He said: "Album sales go up much more if an artist wins a Brit because a lot more people read about it in the papers and hear about it on TV.

"The Brits act as a platform for a more mainstream audience who don't buy music as much as NME readers. But, they will respond to key events during the year whether it's the Brits or the Mercury Awards."

"The ones that do particularly well haven't quite had that full public exposure but they've been bubbling under," he explained.

"With an emerging artist sometimes their sales can go up by three, four maybe five times their typical sales level. In that sense the Brits does allow you to connect to that much wider audience."

Unlike the Brits, the NME Awards focus on "specific music fans" who are "very passionate about music" and the ceremony tends to focus "on the quality of the record or artist overall", according to Mr Castaldo.

So... if the NME awards concentrates on the quality of the music and the artists, does that mean the Brits don't? Obviously, we'd agree with that, but since HMV are going to try flogging albums with "Brit nominee" stickers on, it's surprising to see their press spokesperson suggesting that the prizes are given out to people with no regard for quality, for people who don't care about music, purely to boost sales.

[Thanks to Peter D for the link]