What do you do if you're a television network looking for some other industry to expand into? Create yourself a record label, find yourself a few people with talent, and then watch the tickets fly off the shelf. That's what the Walt Disney Company has been doing for the last several years. Disney, of course, is responsible for launching the careers of Miley Cyrus and The Jonas Brothers. But now that those two acts have settled down for a bit, another network has entered the fray: Nickelodeon.
Though it has released soundtracks for years, Nick really got started in the concert business when Miranda Cosgrove sang the theme song to iCarly, the series she currently stars in, and then launched a recording and touring career. Since then the network has brought together three more musical acts: Keke Palmer, star of the former series True Jackson, VP; Big Time Rush; and The Fresh Beat Band. The latter two in particular have taken off. Big Time Rush is about four kids who get a chance to move to Los Angeles as a band, and spend what time they're not singing trying to solve problems that face them. The Fresh Beat Band has much the same premise, though they're targeted at toddlers.
Where Cosgrove's music career is largely separate from the series she stars in, the shows Big Time Rush and The Fresh Beat Band and their associated live bands either have the same cast of characters (as in the case of The Fresh Beat Band), or is a thinly veiled version of the other (as with Big Time Rush). In any case, Nick's new path forward is paying off, as tickets are selling well. So well that on the TicketNetwork Exchange Big Time Rush was one of the Top 20 concert acts in November, and The Fresh Beat Band was in the Top 10 last month*.
With the popularity of the two bands, and no Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Jonas Brothers, or Lady Gaga on tour at the moment, Nickelodeon has the pre-teen concert segment cornered. Well, at least until Bieber, Cyrus, the Jonases, or Gaga decide to tour again.
*As of 2/17/2012 3:00 p.m.