Selena Gomez: The Billboard Cover Story
Selena Gomez: The Billboard Cover Story

To bring music from Gomez's third album to fans of her TV series and a broader audience, the key, Konowitch says, has been the employment of multiple platforms. The video for the first single, "Who Says," which plays during the film's closing credits, received a 30-second sneak peek on E! before the full version aired on Disney Channel. Ryan Seacrest, rather than Radio Disney, played the song first on his syndicated radio show before it went to other stations -- an attempt to avoid getting a "kiddie music" label stuck to her new songs.

Video: Selena Gomez & the Scene, "Who Says"

Her promotional activities since the single's release have all been directed at an audience that most likely has never seen an episode of "Wizards of Waverly Place." She has already appeared on "Dancing With the Stars" and "Late Show With David Letterman." Upcoming stops include "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," "Good Morning America" and "Today."

"In the last two years she's gone from a novice to someone who stands for something -- with a real audience," Konowitch says. "Her song selection is about messages. What's important is that people have learned to respect Selena as the artist we think she is. Not just the consumers, but the industry and the gatekeepers . . . People want to work with her. People believe she can be big. But the stars have to align. Those stars have not aligned for others."

"When the Sun Goes Down" is Gomez's third album in 21 months. Her first, "Kiss and Tell," outsold the second, "Year Without Rain" -- 778,000 vs. 609,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan -- but the second disc achieved a higher position on the Billboard 200, No. 4 vs. No. 9. Her total track sales hit 7 million in early June.

"Who Says," which has sold 844,000 copies and peaked at No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100, is being used in U.S. trailers for "Monte Carlo" and will be used in European trailers as well. "Love You Like a Love Song," the second single, will be released on iTunes a week before the album and is already in trailers in Europe. Kmart, which carries Gomez's "eco-friendly" Dream Out Loud clothing line, will use both singles in promotional campaigns this summer.

"She's become a style icon with the tweens and teens," Fox 2000 president Elizabeth Gabler says. "Classy but sassy." One other song, "Bang Bang Bang," was released as part of iTunes' Countdown promotion, but isn't an official single.

Hollywood Records started setting up the album six months ago, presenting the music in Europe to the label's international team and then to Fox for it to be considered for the film. "Selena is benefiting from longer setup time than most of our artists allow us," Konowitch says. "More time was spent in the recording process [because] she has a keen sense of where she was going versus where she had to go. She wasn't living within any kind of restriction or a creative box -- and many times [young pop] artists feel they are."

Hollywood, Fox 2000 and the concert promoters involved with her 29 shows have the benefit of a summertime launch. Gomez, who finished her high school studies a year ago, has had limited availability to tour or promote previous releases due to commitments to films and TV. It helps, too, that Gomez specializes in dance pop.

"It's techno dance," Gomez says. "Pop is something I'm most comfortable with and these are producers who know me and know the direction we want to go in. The songs are tailored to me and my style. I'm very lucky."