We may be dividing opinion here but was Ed's 'Divide' really the biggest selling music release of 2017?
Well no, not exactly, not if we look at the number of global sales reported for the years biggest album, Ed Sheeran's 'Divide' versus the sales volume of the video game FIFA 18 released in the same year.
We know that this may divide opinion but EA Games' FIFA18 with more than double the global sales of ‘Divide’ also fortuitously makes the football game the biggest music release of 2017 as it features a soundtrack of 40 recording artists.
EA games have been in the 'music sync' game for over 20 years with FIFA's various imprints alone licensing some 700 different track titles. Music has been a strong component of the football game brand ever since Blur's 'Song 2' kicked things off when it featured in FIFA98.
It may be termed a 'lean back' passive listen and not a primary purpose for the game but for many millions of FIFA gamers, the hand picked music soundtrack of around 40 tracks each season reaches a vast audience. There were 20 million gamers across the in 2017/2018's FIFA 18 season, which is comparable in size to the very biggest of playlists on Spotify
FIFA soundtracks feature repertoire from the majors and independent record labels the latter who have been taking a greater share of the licensed tracks in recent editions.
With many gamers hearing the music content hundreds of times over the course of a season we argue that FIFA's soundtrack was the biggest release of 2017.
All of the above is taken from our FIFA TribeAllTruth study published in September 2018, with findings we have from a study into video gamer culture.
To find out more about the other areas we cover in our FIFA TribeAllTruth please click on our report cover.
Since finalising our report, details of the FIFA 19 sound track have been revealed and the track list indicates that the trend continues in featuring a greater proportion of indie tracks over ones signed to the majors.
FIFA video games continue to champion new music from across the globe, we think there are some bangers on the FIFA19 sound track as well as many others that will surely be growers when playing the game across the season.
Get in touch if you need help in gaining a deeper understanding of your audiences, drop us a line at the All Ears Group.