WORLDWIDE SUCCESS COULD BE 'AUTOMATIC'
Tokio Hotel's global sales are now at 3.5 million copies, plus 1 million DVDs, according to Universal. The international scope of the band's marketing campaign is obvious, and the act's official Web site is available in 11 languages. "Automatic" is a worldwide MTV video priority. The band will appear at the network's European Music Awards Nov. 5 in Berlin and headline MTV Day 09 -- broadcast worldwide as an MTV World Stage presentation -- Oct. 9 in Athens. Regular European tour dates will follow early next year.
The band will be in the United States Oct. 10-19, and Kierszenbaum expects to confirm appearances on major TV shows. (One already confirmed is MTV's "It's On With Alexa Chung.") With early media support from Rolling Stone, Seventeen and the New York Times, he intends to delay a major radio push to top 40 formats until "we've got real traction in the marketplace."
"The sky's the limit," Kierszenbaum says. "The band has turned in a great record, we did a lot of groundwork last time, and people are opening up to new kinds of music. Bill's an absolute worldwide superstar -- it's just a matter of time and we're going to make sure it happens."
Universal Music Germany's Ballin says South American markets are also a priority this time around, and an initial push in Asia is planned for next year. Even the United Kingdom, which now stands alone in declining to embrace the band, will receive the full Tokio Hotel treatment in 2010.
"Success is like a drug," Bill says. "We want to be successful everywhere. But if not, at least we can go on vacation to London."
Best not to book that holiday just yet, though. If anyone can make the Brits love German pop music, it's Tokio Hotel. Nothing -- not even Kanye West -- can stop them now.
Additional reporting by Wolfgang Spahr in Hamburg.