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Shawn Mendes (and Team): From 6 Second Vine Clips To An iTunes No. 1

Shawn-mendes-epShawn Mendes' self-titled EP is currently no. 1 on the iTunes Albums chart and apparently it took him only 37 minutes to get there. Though he now has a strong presence beyond Vine, it was on the 6-second video sharing service where he got his start. The transition from Vine to YouTube, let alone major label artist status, is in no way assured as other artists are finding out. For Mendes the ability to transition, seemingly without effort, from unsigned to Island Records' artist while maintaining a strong direct connection to his fans is making the difference.

I'm just getting up to speed on Mendes' rise from Vine to Island Records artist. My understanding is that he started posting cover song snippets on Vine last year, got discovered by the majors and now, with the success of the EP, is showing he has the goods.

He was also posting covers on YouTube which is where his manager said he found him but it was the following on Vine that got people's attention including the major labels. This sets the stage for a future post on buying Vine followers as people try to emulate his success.

From Vine to iTunes No. 1

Despite being what may be the first Vine-launched musician to chart, including debuting at no. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Life of the Party", Mashable related that Island Records' President David Massey was attempting to distance Mendes a bit from Vine:

"I mean the Vine thing completely misleads you in terms of what is the serious ability that he has...The Vine part of it is the way that he got discovered, as a way that he built a fan base, which is absolutely wonderful, but what the results should send is he’s a serious star, and people are reacting and wanting to be very much part of his journey."

The results to which he refers are the rapid sales of "The Shawn Mendes EP" on iTunes. According to Mashable's Brian Anthony Hernandez:

"Smiling at the camera in a small studio in Dallas, the 15-year-old urged the viewers to tweet '#ShawnToNumber1,' and within 37 minutes of making the EP available on iTunes, his music catapulted to the top spot on the iTunes Top Albums chart. Meanwhile, the hashtag became Twitter's top trending topic as his army of 1.5 million followers rallied in support."

And that is a nice trick. Making all that work that Island Records, Mendes' manager and the rest of his team put in stay in the background while Shawn Mendes connects directly with fans. Who says the major labels aren't adapting?


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) also blogs at DanceLand. Send news about music tech startups and services, DIY music biz and music marketing to: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.