The best part about selling-out? Seeing your records follow suit.

It's a lesson learned by Feist, the Ting Tings and even Coldplay, all of whom managed to bring major attention to their music this year after receiving the Midas touch of Steve Jobs by being featured in Apple commercials.

According to Billboard, placement on an iPod/iTunes ad was the No. 1 way for an artist to break through to the mainstream.

Although, as Jerry Seinfeld can attest, appearing in a Microsoft ad can draw in a fair share of press as well...

Second to iPod power is Oprah Winfrey, who apparently does for albums almost what she does for books. Namely, make them fly off the shelves.

According to the trade magazine's special issue Maximum Exposure: The 100 Best Ways for Your Music to Get Attention, a daytime stop on Winfrey's couch is the second most potent way—something Simon Cowell was no doubt aware of when he had his British protégé Leona Lewis make her U.S. TV debut on Oprah in March.

After belting out "Bleeding Love" to the queen of daytime, the single jumped to the top of Billboard's Hot 100 chart, making Lewis just the third U.K. solo female to do so.

For the residual handful of people not convinced of Winfrey's sway, a guest spot by Reba McEntire, Kelly Clarkson and Justin Timberlake on the show in September 2007 in support of Reba Duets resulted the following week in the best sales figures of the country legend's career.

Other Top 10 powerhouse placements: a spot on a commercial running during a special event, i.e. the Super Bowl or the Olympics (No. 3); getting a tune butchered, er, covered on American Idol (No. 5); placement in either the Guitar Hero or Rock Band video games (Nos. 6 and 10, respectively); or having the honor of being chosen for the opening credits of a movie (No. 7).

Make that a hit movie, as "Suddenly I See's" KT Tunstall found out after the opening weekend of The Devil Wears Prada made her tune the season's must-have, jumping from two to tens of thousands of downloads in just one week.

While any sort of publicity, particularly that of the televised variety, not all talk-show appearances are created equal—at least in terms of moving units.

The Late Show With David Letterman may not have as many viewers as the Tonight Show, but the ones it has are clearly superior (and don't they know it) when it comes to music sales, ranking 11 slots higher, at No. 42 to Jay Leno's 53.

Meanwhile, a spot on the Today show plaza is apparently worth more than a couple minutes at Good Morning America, with the Peacock's a.m. show ranking 21st to GMA's 46th.

Here's a rundown of the Top 10 appearances:

  1. Appearing in Apple TV ad
  2. Performance on The Oprah Winfrey Show
  3. In a TV commercial that runs during a special event with significant viewership (Super Bowl, Olympics, etc)
  4. Featured as iTunes' Free Single of the Week
  5. Covered on Fox's American Idol
  6. Placement in Activision's Guitar Hero
  7. Played during a hit movie's opening credits
  8. Placement in a high-rotation TV ad for Nike
  9. Performance on Lollapalooza main stage
  10. Placement in MTV's Rock Band
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.