Inside Move: RTL, BMG worship ‘Idol’ clone

'Superstar' acts expected to boost local tune biz

German media giant Bertelsmann continues to reap the rewards of “Deutschland sucht den Superstar,” the Teutonic version of the “Idol” format, which has brought synergies galore for its TV and music subsids RTL and BMG.

Despite the dire state of the music biz, BMG is expecting a boost in revenues this year thanks in part to acts cultivated from “Superstar,” says Thomas Stein, BMG prexy of Germany/Switzerland/ Austria and member of the jury on “Superstar.”

The success of “Superstar,” which was developed by RTL’s Fremantle division, has already boosted BMG’s first-quarter revenue in Germany by 25% thanks to a number of promotional “Superstar” CDs released during the show’s run.

“Superstar” and “Pop Idol” alumni have since stormed Germany’s pop singles charts and seized the top three spots: “Superstar” third runner-up Daniel Kueblboeck recently premiered at No. 1 with “You Drive Me Crazy”; winner Alexander Klaws is at No. 2 with “Take Me Tonight” after opening at No. 1 earlier this month; and “Pop Idol’s” Gareth Gates has climbed to No. 3 with “Anyone of Us.”

Still, critics and some industry insiders decry the shift away from “real musical artists” and toward packaged TV acts.

While Stein acknowledges the criticism, he stresses one not-insignificant point: “We are bringing young people into record shops.”

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