The top-selling albums of 2007 reveal the importance of TV’s role in generating sales and show that major labels take a back seat when it comes to creating modern superstars.
Four of the top six sellers had direct connections to TV projects. “Noel,” by Josh Groban, whose career has been driven heavily by PBS specials, received a significant boost from an Oprah Winfrey stamp of approval and an appearance on her TV show. “High School Musical 2” and “Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus” are TV show soundtracks. And “Daughtry” is the debut album from a popular “American Idol” contestant.
Four top 10 albums appear on indie labels, including Taylor Swift’s debut and the Eagles’ first album in 28 years, “Long Road to Eden,” which was sold only at Wal-Mart outlets.
Of the remaining slots, Sony BMG was represented by Alicia Keys’ fourth album, which was promoted heavily in ubiquitous Target ads — showing her performing her single “No One” — that aired throughout the holidays. Warners had Linkin Park’s third studio disc, and Universal had Kanye West’s third release and the debut from Fergie, who has sold millions of albums as a member of the Black Eyed Peas.
Performers releasing albums in the last two months of the year, when more than 20% of all sales are registered, were limited in the number of TV appearances they could make because of the writers strike. The strike also limited the number of new scripted episodes connected with the promotion of the artists’ new releases.