Sunday's 89th annual Academy Awards provided an immediate burst of sales for songs performed on the ABC broadcast, according to Nielsen Music. Collectively, the songs garnered a 206 percent gain in download sales in the United States on the day of the awards, according to initial sales reports from Nielsen. In total, the seven songs performed on the show sold more than 30,000 downloads on Sunday -- up from about 10,000 on Saturday.
The selections performed during the show were the five tunes nominated for best original song (“Audition,” “Can’t Stop the Feeling!,” “City of Stars,” “The Empty Chair” and “How Far I’ll Go”) along with Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day” (which Justin Timberlake sang as part of his show-opening performance of “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”) and the Joni Mitchell-written “Both Sides, Now” (performed by Sara Bareilles during the show’s In Memoriam segment).
Sales totals include both Mitchell’s recording of “Both,” as well as Judy Collins’ popular original rendition; the Auli’I Cravalho and Alessia Cara versions of “How Far I’ll Go” from the Moana soundtrack; Sting’s solo and Sting and J. Ralph collaborative versions of “The Empty Chair”; and the multiple versions of best original song winner “City of Stars” found on the La La Land soundtrack.
The biggest seller on Feb. 26 among all the songs performed on the show was Timberlake’s former Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit “Feeling,” which sold about 12,000 downloads on Sunday -- up from 4,000 on the previous day. The combined versions of “How Far I’ll Go” went from 4,000 to 6,000, while “City of Stars” climbed from 1,000 to 5,000 and “Audition” grew from less than 1,000 to more than 2,000. “Both Sides, Now” (3,000), “The Empty Chair” (1,000) and “Lovely Day” (1,000) all zoomed from negligible figures.
Increases earned from the show were not limited to the songs performed on the Oscars broadcast. In addition, the film that won the most awards (six) of the evening, La La Land, saw its three separate soundtrack and score albums rise from a combined total of about 1,000 to 3,000 downloads sold.
It’s expected that in the full tracking week, which ends at the close of business on Thursday, March 2, there will be sizable gains for all of the above songs, in addition to the nominated scores (Jackie, La La Land, Lion, Moonlight and Passengers).