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ben08
post Jul 18 2018, 12:13 PM
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From Music Week.

One in a million: But is The Greatest Showman's stunning success hitting other artists' albums?
by Mark Sutherland

July 18th 2018 at 7:00AM

Can one million Greatest Showman fans be wrong?

That’s the question being asked by some in the music industry, as the soundtrack passes the million mark and sparks a debate about whether it’s preventing other releases from breaking through.

Official confirmation will have to wait until this evening’s Official Charts midweek update, but the Atlantic-released soundtrack ticked past one million units at some point on Monday, confirming its status as the sales phenomenon of 2018. The album has dominated 2018’s Albums Charts, to the extent that it has been No.1 for 21 of this year’s 28 chart weeks so far. More to the point, its tenure at the top has stopped a multitude of artists from reaching the top spot. Panic! At The Disco, Kanye West, Snow Patrol, James Bay, J Cole, Manic Street Preachers, UB40 Featuring Ali, Astro & Mickey, Justin Timberlake, Craig David, Fall Out Boy and Camila Cabello have all had to settle for entering at No.2 as a result of the Hugh Jackman-starring unstoppable sales juggernaut.

This has led to mutterings within the music industry (and on Twitter most Friday evenings) that the album is now almost too successful. Some execs privately suggest the multi-artist album shouldn’t actually appear on the artist albums listing at all, but should be confined to the Compilations Chart, where some soundtrack albums, such as Guardians Of The Galaxy, do currently appear. But many other recent breakout soundtracks, such as La La Land and Moana, also appear on the artist chart.

Derek Allen is in the middle of that debate as SVP, commercial at Warner Music UK and also non-executive chairman of the Official Charts Company. “If I take my Warner hat off and put my Official Charts hat on,” Allen told Music Week, “I’d say that we did discuss this, at length, last year in terms of which albums should appear in the artist album chart and which albums are not artist albums and appear in the compilations chart. There was a very, very healthy debate around where albums of this nature sat and it’s fair to say that there was a split. Half the room was in favour of these albums sitting in the comps chart and a fairly strong part of the room thought they should stay where they are – and this was long before Showman. I’m sure that debate will open up again at some point in the future and it will be interesting to see if this changes people’s views.”

And other execs also hailed the album's success. “I think we’re comfortable with cast recordings sitting there,” says David Hawkes, managing director of Universal Music UK’s commercial division. “It’s not a concern, you just have to sit back and commend Warner on a fantastic record. Does it stifle? As we’ve seen with Drake and Florence + The Machine, if you release a great record, it’s going to do good volume, same with George Ezra. You can still get to No.1, despite the performance of The Greatest Showman. You just have to tip your hat to a fantastic album that’s captured the imagination of the public.”

“It’s fantastic that Warner have had that success,” agreed BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor. “Anybody who goes to watch the film, a huge number of those people go out and buy the record because the songs are so strong. It gets people engaged in either streaming or purchasing music and it gets them into stores; that’s a good thing for the market overall. It defied everyone’s expectations for a soundtrack album, it is a bit leftfield but it’s all about the quality of the film and the quality of the music.”

Of the 988,432 sales The Greatest Showman had racked up before this week, 458,044 were physical, 197,835 were digital downloads and 332,553 were streaming units, making it a rare multi-format blockbuster. It passes a million units just as its iron grip on the charts begins to loosen; it’s missed out on the top spot for the last two weeks and looks likely to do so again this week, leaving it two weeks short of Adele’s record for the most weeks at No.1 this century (23 for her album 21).

But don’t expect the debate to end there: another likely blockbuster soundtrack, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (Polydor) is heading for a Top 10 entry on the Official Albums Chart this week, ahead of the much-anticipated movie’s release. Watch this space.
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Dobbo
post Jul 18 2018, 12:20 PM
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Pretty shocking really.
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Rush
post Jul 18 2018, 12:34 PM
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I agree, 'The Greatest Showman' is too successful for the album chart. They should implement ACR there too, and work with labels to pull albums from stores and blacklist them from radio once they hit 20 weeks on the charts.
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danG
post Jul 18 2018, 12:39 PM
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I knew this debate would be coming, high up music execs are annoyed that a big selling movie cast album is staying at #1 for too long preventing their releases from getting there so no doubt the OCC will make up some rule to keep them happy. rolleyes.gif

Not at all a fan of the soundtrack from what I've heard of it but I'd rather it have 30 weeks at #1 and stay in the album chart for the next however many years than the OCC changing their mind and relegating it to the compilations chart because it's too successful.
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YOUSHALLNOTPEEN!
post Jul 18 2018, 12:54 PM
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Our chart is becoming so take. If it is no.1, it is no.1. That no breakthrough thing is a shite argument. No one said that about other massive selling albums.
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Bjork
post Jul 18 2018, 01:10 PM
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But half of their weekly sales are from streams
Album streams should have a cap
Why count forever?
You spend 30 pounds on a vinyl counts once
But streams count forever and ever
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Robbie
post Jul 18 2018, 01:43 PM
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I don't see anything wrong with the album being on the main album chart. It's not a compilation album, it's an original cast performance soundtrack which falls within the chart rules for what can chart on the Artist Album Chart. The only change has been that the definition has been widened in the past couple of years from meaning only stage cast recordings to also include film cast recordings.

Ironcially had The Greatest Showman been classed as a compilation album then it wouldn't have sold anywhere near a million as compilation album sales totals only include physical and download sales with streams not being counted.
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timjimlee
post Jul 18 2018, 02:17 PM
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QUOTE(Bjork @ Jul 18 2018, 02:10 PM) *
But half of their weekly sales are from streams
Album streams should have a cap
Why count forever?
You spend 30 pounds on a vinyl counts once
But streams count forever and ever

Totally agree and the first line from Music Week is misleading (Can one million Greatest Showman fans be wrong?), one million sales does not equate to one million people consuming the Music.
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danG
post Jul 18 2018, 02:36 PM
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QUOTE(timjimlee @ Jul 18 2018, 03:17 PM) *
Totally agree and the first line from Music Week is misleading (Can one million Greatest Showman fans be wrong?), one million sales does not equate to one million people consuming the Music.

You are right. The number of people consuming the music is (almost certainly) way more than one million.

332k streaming sales does not equal 332k people streaming the album, the number of people who have streamed the album will be higher than this.
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T Boy
post Jul 18 2018, 04:27 PM
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I enjoyed the Greatest Showman when I went to see it. But none of the songs really had a lasting effect on me, not even This Is Me.
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Tawdry Hepburn
post Jul 18 2018, 04:44 PM
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'This Is Me' took months for me to finally "get" it, but it's really quite brilliant.
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PeteFromLeeds
post Jul 18 2018, 04:49 PM
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Keep it in the Albums chart for the sake of not having a 1-OUT drop.
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GTH
post Jul 18 2018, 06:25 PM
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Hardly any of the albums it ‘blocked’ have sustained decent sales after so not really deserving #1’s. I can’t see them getting to #1 would have made much impact on the sales.

100% for it being in the album chart. TGS’ success is just an anomaly, not the standard for the format. If anything, it has encouraged people to keep buying albums in consistent numbers so long, which is clearly good for the industry.
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Bjork
post Jul 18 2018, 06:56 PM
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I'd say 1 mil people have been streaming tracks from the soundtrack, not necessarily the whole thing
wish the occ had a better way to counting album streams, first there's the double counting for the singles charts and the album charts,
then I think the better system would be I stream the album in full, 1 sale, doesn't count anymore
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777666jason
post Jul 18 2018, 07:01 PM
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So if we disqualify successful albums then we need to disqualify any future Adele Ed sheeran or to a lesser extent drake albums they hog the top spot too they stopped so many different people get to number 1 too

This post has been edited by 777666jason: Jul 18 2018, 07:07 PM
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danG
post Jul 18 2018, 07:12 PM
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QUOTE(Bjork @ Jul 18 2018, 07:56 PM) *
I'd say 1 mil people have been streaming tracks from the soundtrack, not necessarily the whole thing
wish the occ had a better way to counting album streams, first there's the double counting for the singles charts and the album charts,
then I think the better system would be I stream the album in full, 1 sale, doesn't count anymore

That's not a great system imo. One album stream is not equivalent to one album sale.
But you're right about the double counting issue. It shouldn't be the case that streams count towards both charts, it should be one or the other.

Either system could replace the one we have:
1) Streams of singles count to the singles chart, streams of album tracks count to the albums chart
2) If you stream more than half an album in one day, those streams count to the albums chart. Otherwise they count to the singles chart (regardless of if the songs are singles or album tracks).
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Jonjo
post Jul 18 2018, 09:08 PM
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Super happy for this soundtrack wub.gif

I think they should keep original recordings in the artist charts. I'd be pissed if they changed the rules just coz they're not happy that an album that's selling more than the artists they're pushing is rightfully getting not just the #1 but consistently strong sales.
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Danny89
post Jul 18 2018, 09:34 PM
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Well at least we have a million seller this year! 'This is me' is okay but 'From now on' is amazing! That song gives me chills, Especially seeing the scene in the cinema.
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Bré
post Jul 18 2018, 11:02 PM
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I honestly don't think it should be in the albums chart. I have nothing against its success or anything, I just don't understand how it qualifies as an artist album. The justification for this being on the main albums chart while, for example, the 'Black Panther' soundtrack went to the compilations seems to be 'it's recorded by the cast of the film' - but I don't understand how that's in any way relevant. At the end of the day they're both collections of new songs recorded by a variety of different artists specifically for a film, they should either both be on the albums chart or neither of them should be.
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Bjork
post Jul 19 2018, 06:01 AM
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TGS is fine in the album charts but agree black panther fits too

TGS is a collection of new tracks not a compilation of old chart hits ala Now 98
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