Jive

By Published on .

There's no jive at Jive Records, just big revenue hits.

Between last year and this, Jive artists Britney Spears, 'N Sync and Backstreet Boys have racked up -- almost consecutively -- individual record-setting sales numbers.

Last month, Ms. Spears sold 1.3 million copies of her album "Oops! . . . I Did It Again" in the first week, the second fastest-selling album ever, according to SoundScan. Earlier this spring, another Jive act, 'N Sync and its "No Strings Attached," posted the best-ever first week with sales of 2.4 million.

These numbers only built on Jive's 1999 highlights as the Backstreet Boys' "Millennium" sold 6.4 million units and Britney Spears' first album, "Baby, One More Time," pulled in 5.7 million units, according to SoundScan.

The key ingredient to the marketing success of Jive's artists is its coordinated effort to reach the teen audience under the leadership of Barry Weiss, president of Jive, a division of the U.K.-based Zomba Group of Cos. Jive also has a U.S. distribution agreement with BMG Entertainment.

Mr. Weiss' recipe for success includes a heavy schedule of touring months before a release of a new artist's album. For instance, Ms. Spears got the ball rolling for "One More Time" last year when she did a monthlong radio promotional tour as well as a Seventeen-sponsored tour of shopping malls.

"Jive began as a hip-hop label," says Tom Calderone, senior VP-music and talent programming for MTV. "It has taken some of those tenets, such as street marketing, and translated it to the pop world."

Jive was also one of the first labels to make sophisticated use of the Internet, beyond Webcasts and chats. Jive uses online street-marketing teams to deliver cool, low-key information about its artists to fans.

"As an independent label, it has a global perspective. Where other managers may push their acts to do more and more [appearances, marketing, corporate tie-ins], they do less," says Mr. Calderone. "They seem to do it right."

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