Kids TV has been the launching pad for everyone from Justin Timberlake to Miley Cyrus, and both The Disney Channel and Nick have learned that music programming is good for ratings and ancillary revenue from soundtrack sales. Below are the top five kids TV shows from Billboard's Soundtracks chart, according to Nielsen SoundScan, using sales from January 2008 onward.
1. "Hannah Montana," The Disney Channel
The reigning kids TV soundtrack for the past two years is still 2007's "Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus" on Hollywood/Disney, with 3.2 million copies sold. Other "Hannah Montana" soundtracks have seen notable sales in that time frame: "Hannah Montana 3" sold 626,000 copies, and the original "Hannah Montana" soundtrack tallied 3.7 million. But there's room for opportunity: this is the last season of "Hannah Montana" on the Disney Channel, which means room is about to open at the top.
2. "Phineas and Ferb" The Disney Channel
The top animated contender on the top kids TV soundtrack list is "Phineas and Ferb," a Disney Channel show that debuted in 2007 about the antics of two step-brothers. (Voiceover work is done by Disney team players Ashley Tisdale, Alyson Stoner and Mitchel Musso, among others.) The "Phineas and Ferb" soundtrack, released in September 2009 on Disney, has sold 190,000 copies.
3. "iCarly" Nick
Nick's "iCarly" - which stars Miranda Cosgrove as a girl who produces an online show with her friends - has long been the network's top ratings earner for a live action show. The first "iCarly" soundtrack, released in 2007 on Nick/Columbia/Sony Music, has sold 218,000 copies in the past two years.
4. "Wizards of Waverly Place" The Disney Channel
"The Wizards of Waverly Place" stars Selena Gomez as part of one of three wizarding siblings in Manhattan; it won an Emmy in 2009 for outstanding children's program and was nominated again for the same award in 2010. The "Wizards" soundtrack was released on Disney in August 2009 and sold 172,000 copies.
5. "SpongeBob SquarePants" Nick
Nick's overall ratings champ - is basic cable’s top animated series with total viewers, according to tvbythenumbers.com - also translates into soundtrack sales. "SpongeBob SquarePants: SpongeBob's Greatest Hits," and released on Nickelodeon/Sony Music in April 2009 sold 373,000 copies.
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