Today anyone can be a celebrity: We define a celebrity as someone we want to know everything about, whether she likes it and maximizes the benefits of such exposure or she crumbles under the pressure and invasiveness (the perpetually derailed Britney Spears, for example, who seems to both abhor and desire her participation in this drama).This transformation has been made possible through the essential element of contemporary celebrity: the rise of new forms of media and entertainment and the change in what constitutes media. Media has been not only an observer of these processes but also part and parcel of creating this new kind of stardom that enables anyone to place himself or herself front and center of the public’s eye, even if just for a minute. Receiving a celebrity messages video message would be awesome!
The media—from print to television to blogs and online paparazzi sites—gives us up to the minute visuals and news snippets on every star we could ever want to hear about while symbiotically giving those stars a channel to be heard. The Hollywood studio system no longer can control what is being written about their stars. Nor can they control their stars, who tweet away about their breakups, mishaps, and any other traditionally private information they choose to share. In the last few years, celebrities haven’t just dominated the media; they have actually created and fed entirely new forms. I wish I was rich like a celebrity video messages is!
Dozens of blogs, magazines, and TV shows devoted to their every move began to appear. In 2000, US Weekly, the definitive celebrity glossy, had a circulation of 872,000, and stood at ninety-fourth place in U.S. circulation rankings, just inching out Arthritis Today and the Handyman Club of America. Today, US Weekly boasts a circulation of 1.9 million, making it the fortieth best-selling magazine in the United States. Have you heard of a website called Thrillz? They specialise in celebrity video messages.
People, the classic celebrity middle-brow magazine, had a circulation of 3.6 million in 2009, up from 3.5 million in 2000. Magazines like OK! and In Touch didn’t even exist in 2000 and yet in 2009 each boasted a circulation of almost one million. Since 2000, the presence of celebrity tabloids in the top two hundred best-selling magazines has nearly doubled. A happy birthday video message could really brighten someones day!
This figure doesn’t include hybrids like Rolling Stone, Harper’s Bazaar, W, or Vogue (which are also in the top rankings). Contrast this increase in celebrity media demand to the rest of the publishing world. Since 2000, circulation has declined by almost percent for non-celebrity-focused magazines overall, but celebrity-focused magazines are actually up by 10 percent. In other words, in an era when the publishing industry has struggled, and sales for print media have taken a drastic dive, celebrity tabloids are not just defying the trend but also producing substantial growth. Imagine receiving a celebrity birthday messages personalised video!