CSPC: High School Musical Popularity Analysis

HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL PHOTO

Every record is worth buying if it puts a smile on the face of your children. Teen pop music and the Disney industry are two prime examples of this reality. When the power of both are merged together, it may result into Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Hannah Montana / Miley Cyrus or… the High School Musical cast. Exactly 10 years ago this week, the second volume of this trilogy debuted at #1 in the US with an impressive 615,000 copies sold. Let’s bring back some memories studying this highly popular franchise!

There is no doubt that Zac Efron & friends were huge. The TV series was watched by millions, the DVDs sold past 25 million units Worldwide and the third movie, Senior Year, was issued in theaters all over the globe banking in more than $274 million.

What about their music though? The single Breaking Free spent one week inside the Top 10 in both the US and the UK, at #4 and #9 respectively. What Time Is It? had a brief peak at #6 in the US also, but that’s it. No other single from the High School Musical franchise charted higher than #20 in both countries. They had no continuity whatsoever and no song from those movies managed relevant airplay. So, while the series was popular inside the entertainment industry, was it really big inside the music industry? How have their three albums performed, as well as their singles? Are their songs still streamed to this day or was it all about a temporary hype?

As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to relevantly gauge their results. This concept will not only bring you sales information for all High School Musical albums, physical and download singles, as well as audio and video streaming, but it will also determine their true popularity. If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC method, the next page explains it with a short video. I fully recommend watching the video before getting into the sales figures. Of course, if you are a regular visitor feel free to skip the video and get into the figures.

Let’s go!

4 thoughts on “CSPC: High School Musical Popularity Analysis”

  1. Thank you for doing this! I was just wondering, was the fourth movie (spin-off) “Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure” that much of a flop in terms of sales?

  2. Hi MJD!

    I have to say, this is a very interesting read. The 3 soundtracks show similarities to both Frozen soundtrack (Disney movies) and teen acts (eg. Miley, Justin)

    Firstly, the HSM soundtracks sold impressively well in South America, just like 1D did. I remember you saying that that particular region has a large influence from visuals and imagery, hence artists with TV shows or movies sell bucketloads there (Whitney with Bodyguard, Miley Cyrus)

    Another thing similar is what you mentioned, download sales linear for the entire tracklist.

    Finally, a comment about the HSM trilogy sucess: while 25m+ for 3 albums in 3 years is impressive, there was no denying the project was becoming less and less successful, with the last project at barely 5m. Another thing is that album sales are the main provider for their CSPC sales. They achieved tremendous numbers in that format, but underperformed in other formats, the most disappointing one are downloads, as those 3 albums were released when the download market was still healthy.

    Still, the first project was quite successful, matching the success of mega albums of the same period (eg. B’day by Beyonce, Loose by Nelly Furtado, Futuresex/Lovesounds by JT). The 2nd project was also a decent follow up, though highly front loaded compared to its predecessor, as album sales only added 0,3m for the former in their first year, while the first one added a nice 3m after its first year.

    Can you give us any hints on who will be up next for analysis? Thanks and keep uo the good work you all!

  3. Hey! I’ve been browsing your popularity analysis for a while, and I have a question to make. It seems that you’re using the formula of 1500 streams = 1 album sale, but isn’t that a method used only in the USA? For example, if a song has 500,000,000 total streams, it is unrealistic to assume 100% of them are based on the USA to apply this formula to reflect on total album sales, especially that the streaming data seemingly are private and are sent exclusively to Billboard (in the USA).

    If that’s not the case, I hope you can elaborate as I’m confused on your usage of the formula :).

    1. Hi Alfonso!

      I’m not sure to really understand your question. The streaming method is not supposed at all to concern the US only, in fact all streaming numbers are global. Both Spotify and YouTube provide streams of their audio/video tracks.

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