'Glee' gives glee to digital-music outlets

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TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: Have you seen the new Fox TV series, "Glee?" It's about a high-school glee club, and the cast is always breaking into song -- other people's songs -- Beyonce, Kanye West. The show is having quite the effect on digital-music sales. As Ashley Milne-Tyte tells us.


Ashley Milne-Tyte: With album sales falling, artists are only too happy to license their songs for use on-screen.

Ann Donahue of Billboard Magazine says shows like "Grey's Anatomy" produce the occasional iTunes hit. But the songs from Glee are consistently popular. She says that's partly because the show has a strong feel-good factor. But the music industry as a whole is relying more and more on small-screen exposure.

Ann Donahue: TV's incredibly important to music sales and part of that is the response that the viewer can have.

Donahue says a lot of viewers watch Glee on their computers after it's aired. And it's a top-rated show among women from 18 to 34. They're keen music buyers.

Donahue: While they're watching TV, they will have their computer right in front of them and they can buy the song if they want it. It's really an immediate way of kind of connecting kind of the art and the commerce.

By the time the first four episodes aired, viewers had downloaded more than a million of Glee's songs from iTunes.

I'm Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

About the author

Ashley Milne-Tyte is the host of a podcast about women in the workplace called The Broad Experience.

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