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As Coldplay gears up to take the Super Bowl halftime stage on Sunday, there's a lot at stake — even for a band Rolling Stone deemed "one of the most commercially successful acts of the new millennium."
Upwards of 100 million U.S. viewers are expected to tune in for the intensely choreographed live 15-minute set, more than 50 times the audience of the band's last major tour in 2012, according to figures from concert tracker Pollstar.
"In an incredibly divided and fragmented media environment, the Super Bowl halftime show is absolutely one of the biggest, if not the single biggest way to expose music to an enormous audience," said Brian Hiatt, senior writer at Rolling Stone.
With a third of the U.S. population expected to watch the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos battle for the National Football League championship, the Super Bowl offers a rare and coveted opportunity for advertisers and performers alike.
While there is no definitive way to quantify it, spikes in sales and on social media suggest a significant Super Bowl effect.
Last year, 118 million U.S. viewers tuned in to Perry's pyrotechnics-laden extravaganza featuring a 1,600-pound robotic lion and dancing sharks.
Despite no new album or U.S. tour last year, sales of Perry's existing work surged 92 percent in the week after her performance. YouTube videos of Perry's halftime show racked up views in the millions.
"There are sports fans who aren't watching the Grammys or American Music Awards and are not familiar with artists as a live spectacle, and maybe they would be interested in seeing them after the Super Bowl," Caulfield said.