Winter is coming. No, it isn’t about the release of Game Of Thrones seventh season, you will have to wait a few more months for that. Every year, the week of Thanksgiving / Black Friday combo is regarded as the starting point of the so much anticipated holiday season. That part of the year strongly impacts our cultural environment. All Medias turn on their Christmas program lists from November. Music is no exception.
To celebrate this season, I wondered what was the best article to publish. I first though about pure Christmas acts like Mannheim Steamroller, Trans-Siberian Orchestra or more recently Pentatonix. Well, on a technical point of view this may be a good subject but let’s be honest very few people care about them. Then I though about standard acts who did wonders with a Christmas release a la Michael Buble, Mariah Carey or Josh Groban. We will have time to study them and they require an heavy amount of work so I decided to let them for later. As I like going against expectations, I though about Frozen Soundtrack instead.
As strongly related to winter as it may be, this album isn’t a Christmas record. In fact, in 2014 it was Top 10 everywhere in the middle of the summer. Why that choice then? As I said in the introduction, Christmas season deeply impacts all branches of our culture. We do not only sing All I Want For Christmas Is You in December, we also use to watch Disney movies among other things. The Disney industry has a very specific role in the music area with different patterns of production and promotion as they target a very young audience. Frozen appears to be the perfect case of study to reveal all those highlights. One of the most unexpected success stories in recent years, many things can be said about this album.
Obviously, that success was first a box office smash. The movie grossed $1,28 billion putting it in the Top 10 of all-time worldwide, although such a ranking is quite favorable to recent releases due to money inflation. What’s more, both the DVD and the Blu-ray combined have now eclipsed the absurd total of 20 million units sold in the US alone, plus about 15 million elsewhere. Impressive, no doubt. The Soundtrack too did wonders just like its singles, most notably Let It Go. How big was that album though? There have been pretty few radio airplay for its songs, its singers aren’t that well-known and basically no performance has been done in major TV shows to promote the record. Can an album really sell well with such a difficult background? That’s what we are going to answer within’ the next pages by applying the CSPC.
As a reminder for users who are not yet familiar with the CSPC idea you do not need to worry, it is quite simple as it only consists in merging every format sales an artist, or here a soundtrack, has been getting and attributing them to the studio albums. We will start by focusing on raw data, setting how much the original studio album sold. Then, we will check sales of each track from this album on each format – digital and streaming – and weight them to value those figures on a par with album sales. To complete the study, we will check additional full length releases. Once all the raw data is set, we will only need to apply appropriate weighting to get the overall picture of the Disney blockbuster soundtrack results.