April 21, 2009, 12:00 AM

The unexpected success of “I Dreamed …” echoes at Musicnotes.com

Since Susan Boyle stunned a British TV audience with her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream,” the song has shot to the top of the download charts at Musicnotes.com, setting a record of 1,000 sales in 10 days.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

The unexpected success April 11 of Susan Boyle in Britain’s amateur entertainer TV show “Britain’s Got Talent” is echoing at digital sheet music retailer Muscinotes.com in Madison, WI.

Since Boyle, a middle-aged Scottish woman, stunned the TV audience with her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from the musical “Les Miserables,” the song has shot to the top of the download charts at Musicnotes.com, setting a record of 1,000 sales in 10 days, Tim Reiland, Musicnotes chairman, tells Internet Retailer.

Interestingly, another hot song-Miley Cyrus’s “The Climb” from “Hannah Montana: The Movie”-was on the way to setting the sales record when it was nudged aside by “I Dreamed a Dream.”

Top sellers at Musicnotes, No. 487 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, usually sell 200 to 400 copies over a 10-day period, Reiland says. Musicnotes sells digital sheet music at $5 a song.

Having an Internet presence allowed Musicnotes.com to react profitability to such an event, Reiland notes. “There does happen to be a physical single sheet for this song but I doubt you could find it at most brick-and-mortar music dealers,” he says. “There is also a songbook for Les Mis containing the song that you would be more likely to find at the dealer, but you would have to pay $19.95 even if you only wanted the one song.”

The advantage of selling online works to Musicnotes’ benefit even-or maybe especially-when the song is less well known than “I Dreamed a Dream.” “We often run into situations regarding more obscure songs where an event trips demand; the only place someone could quickly find, much less obtain, sheet music in a case like that is from a site like Musicnotes,” Reiland says.

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