The Wonderful World of Di$ney
The marketing machine at Disney hasn’t lost its touch since helping to build "Lizzie McGuire" into an arena performer – Walt’s company still rules and it continues to feed the concert industry with lucre.
First off, there’s Pollstar’s upcoming Hotstar Miley Cyrus and her alter ego. Disney Channel’s "Hannah Montana" has not only made the 14-year-old a hot commodity but also helped revive the career of the man who plays her father on the show – real-life dad Billy Ray Cyrus.
Along with his turn on "Dancing With the Stars," Billy Ray is featured performing in many episodes of "Hannah Montana," which likely led to an increase in sales of his record to kids who bought not only Hannah’s CD but her dad’s, too.
Meanwhile, AEG Live has picked a winner in the "Hannah Montana / Miley Cyrus ‘Best Of Both Worlds’" tour. Cyrus did a U2-sized ticket sell at Denver’s 18,650-capacity Pepsi Center, reportedly clearing out all available seats in 15 minutes flat.
Meanwhile, a four-pack of tickets on eBay to a Hannah Montana show at San Jose’s HP Pavilion had a "buy it now" price of $1,299 at press time.
Opening the show is the Jonas Brothers, a teen act that had all but disappeared before Disney took it under its mouse ears. The trio of brothers now have a bestselling sophomore release and plenty of exposure on the Montana tour. Word is they will be integrated into many sections of the show, rather than just as an isolated opening act. The young brothers will likely be a hit with 9-year-old girls everywhere when they headline their own dates.
Then there’s the "High School Musical" phenomenon. The Disney original television movie "High School Musical 2" brought in a reported 17 million viewers August 17th – outranking Monday Night Football. There were even "viewing parties," which meant parents switched the family TV from the highly rated "House" to cutie pies Zac Effron and Vanessa Hudgens. Maybe Rolling Stone got it right by recently putting Effron on its cover.
How does this all tie together? If one watched an episode of "Hannah Montana" recently, the commercials were brilliant. Each break had a "countdown" to the days before the next "High School Musical" soundtrack was released. The result: a No. 1 debut on Nielsen SoundScan. In a world of dwindling album sales, the release sold 616,000 units its first week plus 326,000 digital downloads. That’s not including purchases of the singles.
The first High School Musical was the top-selling record of 2006, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.
And don’t forget Aly & AJ. The Disney duo is touring and along for the ride is Corbin Bleu from "High School Musical." There’s so much that they share that it’s time you’re aware that, well, there’s a lot of Disney out there.