The Sales Domination of 'Frozen,' In One Chart



This year's U.S. music sales would be almost uneventful if not for the "Frozen" soundtrack. Purchases are down across the board -- even digital albums and tracks. Releases by superstars have stumbled.

One album has bucked the trends and is doing brisk business, however. Through July 13th, "Frozen" leads all albums in three categories: share of track sales, share of album sales and share of track-equivalent album sales. A track-equivalent album, or TEA, is a measure of an album's popularity that combines album sales (in album units) and track sales (track units converted into album using a ten-tracks-to-an-album conversion metric).

The Disney soundtrack has a 2.15% share of album sales, nearly four times the 0.55% share of second-place "Beyonce" and over four times the third-place album, Lorde's "Pure Heroine," according to Billboard analysis of Nielsen Soundscan numbers. "Frozen" has topped the Billboard 200 album chart 13 times and has sold a total of 2.78 million units.

Although "Frozen" is more an album story than a track story, its 1.1% track share is also tops for 2014. Katy Perry's "Prism" (1%) and Pharrell Williams' "Girl" (0.99%) are a close second and third in track shares.

The combination of album and track sales gives "Frozen" a 1.8% share of TEA sales. That's over three times the shares of "Prism" and "Girl," which tied for second with a 0.57% TEA share. "Pure Heroine" and "Beyonce" are close behind with TEA shares of 0.55% and 0.54%, respectively.  

"Frozen" first topped the album chart in the week ending January 5th while topping the U.S. box office as well. It became the fourth animated film soundtrack to reach number one after Jack Johnson's "Curious George" from 2006 and Disney's "Pocahontas" from 1995 and "The Lion King" from 1994.

The soundtrack has been a shining star in a dreary year. Album sales are down 14.9%, digital album sales have fallen 11.7% and track sales are 12.9% below last year's pace. In spite of this year-over-year slide, "Frozen" has easily outsold last year's top title.

At the same point in the year -- week 28 -- Justin Timberlake's leading album share of 1.37% gave "The 20/20 Experience" the top TEA share of 1.16% -- far behind the 1.8% TEA share of "Frozen" this year. The only TEA share above 1% through week 28 last year, Timberlake's 1.16% share represented TEA units of 2.61 million. "Frozen" has sold 3.47 million TEA units.