BREAKING NEWS: Lady Gaga has finally knocked Britney Spears to No. 2 in the Twitter charts, according to gossip magazines, tabloids, the Telegraph, CNN, and the International Herald Tribune. The two have been cat-fighting it out  to be the pop star queen of Twitter for the past several weeks. Lady Gaga – with 5,803,000 followers to Britney’s 5,726,000 – marked the occasion with a tweet. "Thank you for beginning my reign as Twitter queen," she said in a video to her followers

Personally, I don’t count myself as a follower of either. I have absolutely no desire what so ever to know what Lady Gaga had for lunch today. So who does? And more importantly; Why? Are these two just popular because of who they are coupled with our infallible hunger for celebrity gossip, or, as entertainers, are they really genuinely influential and engaging online as well as on stage? Enter TweetLevel. What I found is rather interesting actually.

Lady Gaga has an overall TweetLevel influence score of 87; Britney Spears, 82. So, this tells us that Lady Gaga is indeed on top in this girl on girl battle, but let’s dig a little further, shall we?

Both have a popularity score of 99.8, so no news there. Britney is slightly more engaging that Lady Gaga, coming in with an engagement score of 51.1 to Gaga’s 48.2. Perhaps Britney Spears has slightly more time on her hands to respond to followers and participate in conversations?

While the scores are pretty close, both are rather low: Ashton Kutcher has an engagement score of 64.6 (and an overall influence score of 92). The most interesting stat however is the trust score. Though she is influential and participates in conversations, Britney’s trust score is, in comparison, a rather low 75.7. Lady Gaga triumphs in the category with a veritably whopping 92.2.

So, what does this all mean? When I started this little exercise, I was hoping to find that though she has more followers, Lady Gaga is not more influential than Britney Spears. But of course I now see the errors of my thinking.

Lady Gaga has made a name for herself because she is different in style and tone, her performances are as wacky as her personality and she draws attention from crowds and online communities. Lady Gaga’s brand embodies compelling authentic content, lesson No. 1 in social media engagement – or No. 5 of Mashable’s recent 10 tips for aspiring community managers. Furthermore, she uses her Twitter feed to broadcast updates but also videos and photos.

Britney on the other had is an unstable brand. Recently reappearing (again) on the celebrity scene, the once troubled-star seems to be have put her outrageous ways behind her and is rebuilding her celebrity profile with a highly-publicised stint on Glee and a new album. Still popular yes, but were we more interested in Britney when she was ripping out her hair? Still popular yes, but interest in what she has to offer the masses is dwindling. She may have been America’s sweetheart pop star and our favourite celebrity-gone-wild-to-watch, but we are just not the interested in what she is doing, or has to say anymore. Plus, we have Lindsay Lohan now.

Note to Lady Gaga/ Lady Gaga’s social media team: Start engaging with your followers and then maybe we can call you the Queen of Twitter. With 5,831,213 followers (at the time of writing), I am not convinced you have earned the title just yet.

@jacqui_cooper

"So don't become some background noise"

Spotify: a PR success, a service the world has grown to love and a potential game-changer for the music industry – but also a service which most of us have decided not to pay for. Instead, the majority of revenue remains reliant on advertising, users largely accepting an advert being played every half an hour as a small price to pay for having legal access to a myriad of music.

Yet over the weekend it emerged quite how insignifigant a money spinner this currently is for even the most popular artists. Lady Gaga’s ‘Poker Face’ is one of the most popular tracks on Spotify, being played over a million times, yet a report claims that she has earned only $167 (about £100) from this. In view of the fact that many of the big music labels are given equity in Spotify in return for their artist’s material, this could understandbly lead to some anger – Swedish artist Magnus Uggla being a case in point.

Whether it is really relevant to measure the success of Spotify in this way remains to be seen as it is still a service in it’s infancy. Much like Twitter, it is phenomenally successful in terms of usability but is still finding its feet in terms of making money. As it continues to attract users it’s appeal to advertisers will grow and so to will the financial returns. How this filters down to the individual artist is then probably more of an issue with the labels than with Spotify.

If at this stage you instead view Spotify as a brand building tool to drive fans to the places which do make an artist money, it all becomes a bit more acceptable. After listening to a track on Spotify, many will pay to download the album, go to a gig or watch the video on YouTube – the latter being highlighted by Lady Gaga herself as one of the most lucrative touchpoints. The video for her latest single ‘Bad Romance‘ is a case study in product placement. The incredibly slick electro pop production includes products from Phillipe Stark, Nemiroff, HP, Nintendo and Burberry among others. Whilst there is always a danger that product placement in a video will translate to it becoming a glorified advert, each product has a logical role and is subtle enough to ensure credibility remains. For Lady Gaga (or her management) this means a big wad of a cash. By inviting the brands into her video It also means she can capitalise on her value as a brand endorsement whilst still playing by her rules. For the brands in question it means an instant association with a cool, headline grabbing personality. It also brings (at the time of writing) almost 17 million views and the knowledge that this video and brand exposure will stay online indefinitely. A win win situation.

@AJGriffiths

DISCLAIMER: HP is an Edelman Tech client.  @LukeMackay also has a Burberry coat, though no one pays him to wear it.   More’s the pity.

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