Saturday, April 20, 2024

Janet Jackson: No Sleeep, No Sales, Little Airplay, Same Struggle as Mariah, Other Older Singers


update: click on Janet’s name below for an update.

Janet Jackson‘s new record company may be losing sleep over her first release for BMG Records. Her new single, “No Sleeep,” got a lot of media attention when it was launched a couple of weeks ago. But so far, it’s not selling on iTunes and isn’t getting much radio play. Janet is having the same problems as Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez and other older singers who are trying to stay in the game and be relevant.

“No Sleeep” has met with indifference at radio stations. According to MediaBase, which tracks airplay, “No Sleeep” is not keeping anyone awake at but a few urban stations. The single hasn’t crossed over into pop, and hasn’t caught fire at R&B stations. This may be because it’s not extremely quiet for a summer song, and doesn’t have much of a hook. It’s just sort of a riff.

The stations that are playing it are all in B markets. So far, “No Sleeep” has had little luck in New York or Los Angeles, where singles are broken.

On iTunes, “No Sleeep” hasn’t cracked the top 150 singles. It is ranked at #70 for top pop songs of 2015 overall.

To be fair, “No Sleeep” was pushed out quickly as a signal that Janet’s new album is coming this fall. Maybe all it was supposed to be was a loss leader. The album is likely to have a lot of snappier stuff. And by then Janet will have been on tour for a week, so audiences will be more enthused.

This business of selling “mature” artists– acts who we loved in the their 20s and 30s– is tough, tough, tough and frustrating for everyone. Mariah Carey had a very good album at DefJam and then a really good single in “Infinity.” But the groundswell is hard to find after the first flush of publicity. And it’s not like Janet Jackson herself is a hard sell. Everyone loves her!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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