Are Boy Bands A Viable Launch Vehicle For Space Tourism
San Diego - Jul 18, 2002
A little look behind the business infrastructure that launches boy bands reveals a lucrative source of capital and explorers for the new frontier. A business world that appears to support Lance Bass's aspirations to become a space tourist.
But is there any real link between boy band singers, the travel industry and the future of space tourism? Lou Pearlman thinks so. He runs Trans Continental Airlines, a company which chartered jets for music industry giants such as Michael Jackson, Madonna and Phil Collins.
This is how he came to notice that a boyband called New Kids on the Block had made $1billion in one year. Re-minting the idea, he launched Back Street Boys and shipped 60million of their records globally.
'N Sync, his second attempt at launching a new band was no less successful - their latest album sold 2.2million copies on the first day, and the group a total of 56million records to date.
Based on this experience, 'N Sync band member Lance Bass has himself created a new talent management company, perhaps to follow in Lou Peralman's footsteps, perhaps to hopefully accrue the kind of monies required not just for a single tourism flight but something more substantial. With Perlman's vast Trans Continental Studios based in Orlando, Florida, this clearly put Lance Bass close to his childhood dream of spaceflight. But not close enough.
Hence his current bid to get into space by a combination of his success to date and good old fashioned business sense. This may take the form of building on the success of Pearlman's "Making the Band" television series. With the kinds of revenue streams generated by successful new bands, $20m seems a very wise investment in the brand that is 'N Sync, or at least the part of the brand called Lance.
www.Lanceinspace.com is the likely webpage for Lance's proposed trip, a domain name currently being hosted by his management group. Since "Making the Band" is aired on ABC it is almost certain that the same channel is involved in Lance's proposed media offering - perhaps bringing space tourism straight into prime time TV to an audience dominated by 9-14yr old girls.
The other possible outcome is that Lance Bass's producer David Krieff pulls of a previously reported negotiation to use Bass's flight as a launch event for a Scandinavian reality-TV show.
Most intriguing is the fact that these boy bands are 'manufactured' to meet very demanding commercial criteria, and for an audience which completely re-populates in five years. Knowing you can generate literally billions of dollars with a reasonably predicable outcome, and that space could be a very useful media to invest in is an ideal tonic for the new Frontier that deserves to be given a chance.
As for the question of whether folks like Lance Bass can handle the tough training schedule and tight deadlines, how do you think he got where he is today? It's called (very) hard work.
Richard Perry is a member of the National Space Society, The Moon Society, and a director of the commercial spaceflight company Transorbital Inc.
Lou Pearlman's Website
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