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NEAR TRUTHS: CATALOG DANCE
Money is no object; rising interest rates be damned. (10/6a)
GRAMMY CHEW:
RAP EDITION
Michael and Kyle find a feast of hip-hop to chew on. (10/5a)
SONG REVENUE: “UNHOLY” MOLY
Sam & Kim get us in the Halloween spirit. (10/6a)
PRIMARY WAVE ADDS
$2B FUND
Hats off to Larry, who's doing the "Blitzkrieg Bop." (10/6a)
LORETTA LYNN,
1932-2022
Honoring the life and legacy of a truth-teller (10/5a)
GRAMMY SEASON
New categories! New rules! New WTF!
THE BIG DEAL
It's the one you didn't see coming.
RAID AT MAR-A-LAGO
"Who took my passports?"
HITS' 36TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL
Allow us to apologize in advance.
Blighty Beat
BEHIND THE ELVIS PHENOMENON
1/13/16

Elvis album If I Can Dream—a collaboration with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra—was last year’s surprise blockbuster release in Blighty from Sony Music CG after racking up a cool 900k sales in ten weeks. Behind Adele, it was the biggest selling new album of 2015 in the U.K. and is still flying off the shelves, sitting at #2 on today's midweek charts. So what is it that gets the Brits reaching fever pitch for The King?


The nature of the U.K. market, where marketing and promotion can be better contained due to national TV and radio stations, certainly helped the case. A combination of the Elvis legacy, an ITV documentary that aired on day six of week one release, a 40-second TV ad (that can be seen above), Priscilla Presley in market doing promo, the first-ever animated campaign for music on Kindle, and an A List spot at BBC Radio 2 created the perfect storm that culminated in a triple-platinum certificate, says Sony Music Commercial Group’s VP of Marketing Phil Savill, who helmed the project with Senior Marketing Manager Olivia Walker.

“It’s a fantastic album, which helps,” Savill tells us. “It’s a cliche to say, but you’ve got Elvis’ voice, which is absolutely phenomenal, and coupled with a fantastic orchestra it’s a brilliant concept that has been superbly executed. Anything with Elvis starts on a really high level anyway−you talk to virtually anyone and they love the whole feel of Elvis, so we had an amazing plot right from the get-go, and followed that with a number of key drivers; big TV spend, big press spend and a big outdoor campaign leading into Christmas.

“One of the other reasons why it was successful was the fact we bided our time to make sure we had the plot lined up properly. It could have been released in Christmas 2014, but we didn’t have the documentary lined up, so we waited until we had a fully formed plot and delayed the record for another year.”

  L-R: Olivia Walker, Priscilla Presley, Phil Savill

The split between physical and digital was around 95/5%, and hugely positive customer reviews helped shift units. On Amazon, If I Can Dream has been reviewed over 2k times, with a score of 4.8/5 (Adele’s 25 is 4.7 with around the same amount).

Don Reedman came up with the original idea and produced the album with Nick Patrick and Priscilla Presley, while Sony U.K. Chairman and CEO Jason Iley and COO Nicola Tuer gave Savill and Walker the budget and freedom they needed.

The one million mark is around three weeks away and Savill’s not ruling out 2m by year-end. With 40k sold last week (more than most albums sold to reach #1 in the U.K. last year), a few more tracks to take to radio, and some likely spikes in Mother’s Day on 3/6 and a re-broadcast of the ITV documentary, it’s not an unlikely feat. Watch this space.