'Lily James is a star': Tom March hails the new Mamma Mia! generation

'Lily James is a star': Tom March hails the new Mamma Mia! generation

Polydor co-president Tom March has told Music Week that the soundtrack to Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is reaching a young audience thanks to the film’s “phenomenal” star Lily James.

While the album has strong physical sales, it is steadily building its streaming audience as it heads for a second week at No.1. In the latest Midweek Sales Flash, 13.24% of the total is from streaming.

“The last one was a phenomenal success and sold 8 million albums worldwide, but I think this one skews a little bit younger,” March told Music Week. “Lily James is absolutely phenomenal and there’s a whole new generation of actors in this film who are going to connect to a younger audience.”

In the Singles Chart, lesser-known ABBA songs performed by James – in her role as the young Donna, the character originally played by Meryl Streep – are making an impact. When I Kissed The Teacher has moved 91-47 with sales up 135.4% week-on-week, while Why Did It Have To Be Me advanced 98-55 with an increase of 163.2%. 

“Lily James is a star, it feels like the songs she is singing lead on are the ones that are connecting initially,” said March. “When I Kissed The Teacher is maybe not one of the best known ABBA songs, so there’s a lot more potential discovery there as well.”

While the soundtrack has produced a BBC Radio 2 A-listed song with Cher’s cover of Fernando, March said that data showed that the album was also “connecting with an incredibly young streaming audience”.

“It hits every single audience demographic you can possibly think of,” he added. “I was at the premiere where there were kids of all age groups, everyone was singing in the aisles and there was a standing ovation. I have never seen a reaction like it.”

March said that streaming access meant fans could “literally leave the cinema and immediately listen to the music”. It is already making a global impact following the release of the film in key markets.

“We’re giving the public what they want, these are brilliant songs, it’s a spectacular film and now with the accessibility to the music kids are going to be streaming this all summer long,” he said. “The feelgood factor is back and this can hopefully pick up where the World Cup left off.”

To read Music Week’s interview with March on plans for the Mamma Mia! album pick up the latest issue – or subscribers can click here. To subscribe and never miss a big industry story click here.

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