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Tuning In To Entertainment

Cartoon Network’s first album release, Steven Universe Soundtrack: Volume 1, debuted in the top ten on five charts, including No. 1 on top of the Billboard independent albums chart, No. 2 in soundtracks, No. 3 in digital albums, and No. 22 on the Billboard Top 200. The company is looking to announce other Cartoon Network and Adult Swim albums in the upcoming months.

“Music evokes emotions in people and well-crafted songs (like those created by our show teams) help to enhance the entertainment experience in general,” says Pete Yoder, VP Cartoon Network Enterprises. “We believe that music helps to extend the longevity of a program and the launch of an album provides another key event around a franchise that boosts excitement around all aspects of a brand, including merchandise sales.”

While TLL doesn’t track retail sales of content licensing—such as music CDs, downloads, or vinyl records (yet)—the product category has been enjoying steady growth—particularly from entertainment/character brands. Although kids’ TV series have always released soundtrack albums, Steven’s success is notable for a first-time release. (Apparently, a lot of people believe in him.)

Obviously, CT is the new kid on the block. One example of another top-performing property is Hasbro’s My Little Pony. MLP has over 20 albums, a vinyl record, and an official Fresh Prince of Bel Air spoof. And the property earned over $432 million in retail sales of consumer products worldwide in 2015, up 7.0% from the previous year.


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