Tween Power: How High School Musical Has Affected Animation
As High School Musical has shown, tweens can be loyal fans,
avid viewers and significant purchasers of merchandise.
October 26, 2007
By Karen Raugust
Tweens went crazy over the musical made just for them.
High School Musical products could reach $650 million in retail sales in the coming year.
All High School Musical images © Disney.
The success of Disney Channel's High School Musical franchise has confirmed the power of tweens, a market that has been on the radar screens of the children's cable networks for at least five years.
The first High School Musical movie, which premiered in January 2006, has been seen by 250 million viewers worldwide, according to Disney, and the sequel by 69.4 million since its debut in August. Meanwhile, product sales have been robust: 7.5 million units of the original soundtrack and 3.9 million of the sequels; 8.2 million DVDs of the first film; and 9.3 million books, to name a few. Disney forecasts HSM products could reach $650 million in retail sales in the coming year.
"It made a huge impact because it was giving [tweens] something they never had -- a musical made just for them," says Adam Bonnett, SVP of original series for Disney Channel and Jetix. "It certainly raised the stakes for everybody, including us and our competition. It showed what an impact you can make."
Disney's competitors all agree that HSM hit on a formula that not only worked,
but will have a lasting effect on tween programming.
Above, a scene from the sequel High School Musical 2.
Full article at:"For anyone in the children's space, High School Musical is going to affect everything, just as SpongeBob did," says Michael Ouweleen, Cartoon Network's SVP of development and current series. But he notes that Cartoon Network has no intention of creating a musical, and doesn't plan to move away from its core audience of kids 6-11. "It's more about how well they rolled it out," he says. "Tweens are a secondary part of our strategy. We don't focus on them, but we're happy to have them."