Karaoke, anyone?

Yesterday, Apple Inc. announced that they have ordered a 16-episode Carpool Karaoke series from CBS to be hosted exclusively on their online music-streaming service, Apple Music.

If you’ve never watched the Carpool Karaoke skit, well, you’re missing out — big time! The new Apple series, which is a spin-off of the Carpool Karaoke skit featured on CBS’s “The Late Late Show with James Corden” has surpassed over 830 million YouTube views to date. The skit features James Corden driving around with celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, and the First Lady Michelle Obama, singing, you guessed it… karaoke.

Let’s just take a moment to soak in the hilarity of these skits.

To my own dismay, it has not yet been confirmed that James Corden will be hosting the Apple spin-off but instead may be taking on a role behind the scenes as a producer. On the heels of this announcement, fans are left wondering,

who will be the host of Apple’s Carpool Karaoke?!
While there are many factors that come into play when making a host selection, affinity data is the perfect way to identify potential candidates that will leave a lasting impression.

Using the Affinio platform, which analyzes audiences based on their shared interests and affinities, we can easily see who is most relevant to an audience. Affinio identifies the top 1000 interests for each cluster, and lets you explore those interests based on categories, follower counts, and other qualifying metrics. This helps you to pinpoint the celebrities, brands, and organizations that matter most to your target audience.

To begin my analysis, I ran an Affinio Tweet Content Report on anyone mentioning “Carpool Karaoke” on Twitter in the past 30 days. Immediately, we can see a break out out of interest-based clusters such as: 5SOS Super Fans, Marketing/Tech Fans, General Pop Culture enthusiasts, and Directioners (this comes as no surprise since One Direction starred in a skit and surpassed 77 million views!).

If there is a specific viewer target Apple Music is really trying to attract or own, let’s say the “General Pop Culture enthusiasts” cluster, they can hone in on audience interest data in the context of this cluster. By understanding who this specific audience finds influential, Apple will ideally attract more viewers like them.

In looking at the General Pop Culture Enthusiasts cluster, some of top picks for hosts based on their Relevance score (and a little bit of creative liberty) are: comedian and host Ellen DeGeneres, singer/actor/comedian Justin Timberlake, actor Neil Patrick Harris, ex-Idol host Ryan Seacrest, and actor Channing Tatum.

Remember Channing Tatum’s hit appearance on Spike’s Lip Sync Battle? The episode was dubbed the “Tatum Takeover” and featured a Channing Tatum we haven’t seen before — this was internet gold.

Interestingly enough, Lip Sync Battle originally started as a skit on the late-night show “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and was picked up as a show by Spike shortly after and has been a huge success. Perhaps it’s time for Channing to show us his own singing chops and help Apple make the transition from a late-night skit to its own star-studded show.

Personally, I think any of the above hosts would be a natural fit and would add their own spin to the series. While the host will be important for drawing in viewers week after week, the guests featured will also work for (or against) the success of the spin-off. The guests on the original Carpool Karaoke have been known to steal the show — remember Adele’s rendition of Nicki Minaj’s verse in the the song “Monster”? This was again, internet gold.

In order for Apple Music to strike gold once again, they will need to choose guests that their new audience will want.

So the question remains,

who should guest star on Apple’s Carpool Karaoke?!

Looking at the most influential (singer) celebrities to this audience (who haven’t already been featured on the skit) we can see the following names high on the interests list.

Top 10 Dream Carpool Karaoke Stars:

  1. Taylor Swift
  2. Adam Levine
  3. Justin Timberlake
  4. Ed Sheeran
  5. P!nk
  6. Lady Gaga
  7. Beyonce
  8. Sam Smith
  9. Katy Perry
  10. Rihanna

When the right celebrities are used to promote a series, product, or brand, the results can not only be financially rewarding, but memorable. Today, consumer insights such as interests and passions are changing how strategies are developed. Selecting a star that resonates with an audience is a powerful method for engaging with a desired community, staying relevant, and generating buzz – which will be critical for Apple Music to generate the same viewership as the James Corden originals, especially when guarded behind a subscription fee.

While the stars identified may not be Apple’s final pick, data shows that these stars are a definite favourite for their carpool karaoke crowd!


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