“Counting Stars” Becomes Band’s Biggest Global Hit Thanks to Wave of Synchs


(Billboard Magazine, November, 1 2013) As many labels look to their fourth quarter album releases, John Janick, President of Interscope, is still excited about a first quarter album release due to a synch inspired sales renewal. OneRepublic’s Native is making a sales resurgence with their third single “Counting Stars.”

Native was initially released in March, and although “Counting Stars” first debuted in July, it soon dropped as far as No. 80 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, recent synchs have propelled it to becoming the band’s biggest hit; something Ryan Tedder, OneRepublic’s front man, describes as “both a blessing and a curse. It means our album cycle’s probably not going to be over until 2015.”

This steadiness has been the approach for all of the band’s singles. A steady stream of synchs has kept the band’s singles on the Hot 100 for an exceptionally long time. Almost two years after it was first released in 2009, “Good Life” peaked at No. 2. Ron Laffitte, OneRepublic’s Manager, contributes Native’s success to synchs saying, “This is a band that fosters a lot of good will. They make great music… and the TV, film, and even commercial communities have been very generous with them.”

This generosity has played a central role in finding an audience for OneRepublic. Native’s first single, “Feel Again,” was created specifically for the Ad Council’s Save the Children public-service campaign. Additional songs from Native all had synchs for NHL’s 2013 spring campaign, ESPN’s March Artist of the Month, MLB’s Opening Week campaign and more recently, Apple’s launch of it’s new iPhone 5c devices. “Synchs have played a crucial role for OneRepublic,” says Tedder. “You could be sitting on the greatest song in the world, but the hardest thing to do is let the world know it actually exists.”

Laffitte credits the synchs with helping the band to sell tickets to their biggest North American tour. “If you can sell those kinds of tickets without a current hit single, that means you’ve done a nice job in building a career. And to some extend that includes the commercials.”