Universal Music Group International’s program of digitalizing out-of-print European recordings is realizing encouraging results.
Since the novel multi-year project was announced in February, consumers have bought more than 250,000 previously-deleted tracks, UMGI revealed today (Oct. 17).
France’s Noir Desir was the most popular act, based on the total number of tracks sold during the initiative’s first seven months. The most popular track was Gun’s 1994 U.K. top 10 hit, “Word Up,” and the most popular album was Big Country’s 1984 release, “Steeltown.”
Also popular, according to UMGI, was Greek singer Nana Mouskouri’s Christmas album “Les Plus Beaux Noëls Du Monde.”
Other diverse acts whose works have sold online in those months include Germany’s Accept, the U.K.’s Chris De Burgh, Belgian singer Jacques Brel and French icon Brigitte Bardot. UMGI did not break out sales figures.
“It’s easy for our consumers online to find and download current artists and current hits, but through this deep catalog reissue programme, we are now able to respond to and quantify the appetite for more eclectic, diverse recordings from the past,” comments Olivier Robert-Murphy, VP of strategic marketing at UMGI. “It’s clear that this is a ‘tail’ worth chasing.”
UMGI’s download-only reissue project was established to ultimately revive more than 100,000 European deleted recordings.
The first batch of digitized titles focused on 3,000 titles from the United Kingdom, France and Germany.
The second batch of catalog reissues is due online in late November. Music by Maurice Chevalier, the Christians, the Frames, the Max Greger Orchestra, Mory Kante, Peter Kraus and Lulu will be among those featured. Moreover, classical specialist Decca Records will resuscitate more than 400 deleted albums in the next wave.