Home Music Hanson May Have Fans, But they’re Not Buying CDs

My dear Hanson fans:

You are a devoted group but you’re not buying CDs.

According to Nielsen Soundscan, the new Hanson album, “Shout it Out,” has sold a paltry 31,000 copies.

The most recent one before that was called “Walk.” Total sales to date from 2007: 54,000 copies.

The days of “MMMBop” are long since passed. This doesn’t mean Hanson are not talented musicians. It’s just that their day in the sun has come and gone. This can be said for plenty of acts. I wish them well in all their endeavors.

Share and Enjoy !

Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
35 replies to this post
  1. I think there are also ppl who enjoy Hanson music and wish they had just the extra money to buy their cds…Much respect to Hanson! They are sooo talented. If only they had the financial back-up of a major label/record company- they could’ve toured more all over the world and promoted that great album Underneath!!!REALLY GREAT ALBUM.Sincere and emotional and full of wonderful melodies and songs. I think Island Def Jam lost millions for having lost Hanson…With the right/ample (very ample) promotion and financial backup that a major record company can provide, that album could’ve gone to Number one…It was number one in the Independent chart.It’s a great album – only millions of people did not get to hear it! And not know about it.

    But it is not about the money for Hanson, and they were not treated well that time by Island Def Jam which made them go their separate independent way. But creatively, Hanson gets more freedom being independent music professionals…Couldn’t help but think though if Hanson had the money from a major record company, they could collaborate with all these other great songwriters/musicians (pay their talent fees)..Coz in the Strong Enough to Break documentary, Hanson worked with this guy Greg (?) I think for a fee of 300,000 dollars for 4 tracks (if m nt mstakn)…And it got mentioned you need to spend half a million to promote or get your song on the radio.Anyway, Hanson are really talented and special and a major label who if only was ‘supportive’ could also have given them opportunities to do things and collaborate with other great ppl and go tour more places or appear in more shows/events and do PR work and promotions and marketing globally…That would’ve made an impact in terms of fame and financially. But Hanson is indie now and it is also a great thing coz they mature from the experience and they have freedom ..being their own bosses… I just wish they had the money to collaborate with other great professionals and artists that require their talent fees and get to go more places and also promote…ANd also it would be cool if they can be hooked up with making a soundtrack or score of a movie. Hanson are great melody makers and even if they just created and played a musical instrumental piece for a movie scene, that’s also a great opportunity and they really have potential to go into that kind of thing and excel at it…These guys are already awesome.With even more training (learning from /collaborating w/other great artists) and opportunities to hone their talent and artistry,they can even get better and better!!!even if theyalready are the BEST BAND IN THE WORLD

  2. Hanson aren’t as popular as they were. Their day in the sun is gone. That’s true, artists like Taylor Swift are the ones having their day in the sun now. So if that’s what Roger means, I agree with him. I don’t think Hanson sucks or anything like that, but they still aren’t significant anymore. You fans just don’t want to hear that Hanson isn’t the shiz anymore. They haven’t been since 1997!

  3. Hmmm I’m pretty sure that they just don’t have a fan base anymore. Really I mean all of their original fans were like 10 at the time and have now grown up and realized what crap they were. It’s going to be the same with the Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana.

  4. Not a crazed Hanson fan myself, but back in the 90’s I always saw them as being a cut above the other so-called “teen pop” acts of that era. Their career trajectory reminded me a bit of Peter Frampton’s in that they both were unfortunately and unfairly pigeonholed as teen idols, which cut short their time as big stars. In truth, they had a lot more to offer…they could write, they could sing, and they could play. I continue to root for their success.

    And “MMMMMBop” was a great moment in pure bubblegum pop.

  5. I don’t know much about Hanson, but I respect the guys for continuing to slog it out on the road. As for their “day in the sun,” I suspect that it’s still here. The indie route can be profitable and fulfilling for an artist/band with a loyal fan base like Hanson…just ask Ani DiFranco, who helped write the book on this sort of endeavor.

    As for CD sales in the 30k – 40k level, blues artists have been thriving and surviving on moderate album sales and constant touring for decades, and many have made a comfortable living doing so. I say ‘good luck’ to the Hanson brothers, and hope they enjoy a long career!

  6. Just to mention…that Hanson has an international fan base. I’m from Cyprus (Google it) and i came across your blog due to Hanson! They may not sell as many albums as before..but man they have a loyal fan base..I will travel from Cyprus ( yes that’s outside the US) just to see a live concert of them..And yes I will buy lots of merch too!….FYI..

  7. you know what? this is just completely & utterly rude. This is nothing but a diss here & it’s sad you had to go so low as to write this. No, Hanson is not selling alot of cds but as mentioned by other commenters on here guess what NO ONE is selling alot of cds. with the digital age there really is no reason to buy a cd when you can purchase the whole album or one song online. plus theres the added dilema of the people pirating & stealing songs i mean you can get an entire cd that way. & as other fans have said Hanson is TOTALLY independent they pay for everything themselves & i think that is awesome plus as said their shows are packed & i personally have been waiting on a shirt to become available for weeks bc their online merch is always sold out. Hanson rocks i have loved them ever since 1997 & i will continue to support them as will so many others. this group is talented & a bunch of sweet guys so lay off them

  8. Forget where the money comes from, guys… the point here is that album sales are down across the board from Hanson to Kesha to Lady Gaga to Maroon 5. CD sales are down thanks to internet downloads (not tracked on Neilson Soundscan) and piracy. In this time frame 31,000 isn’t “paltry”. It’s enough to be #2 on the indie charts and #30 on the Billboard 200. And I’d say that for any band, fan or not.

    Again, thanks Friedman for the promotion. And thanks for going ahead and proving that you know nothing of the current workings of the music industry. Oh and while we’re at it, couldn’t you just let a man rest in peace and leave Michael Jackson alone. I don’t know how you look yourself in the mirror, sir.

  9. I’m not gonna get defensive just b/c some lazy jerk wants me to. Sorry if that doesn’t please you Roger. But I do want to say if you are too lazy to see that (like most ppl have said) Hanson’s money comes from the shows and merch that they sell. Which they sell lots of it. I feel sorry for you. You don’t realize that fans travel to shows to see them. Some travling hundreds of miles to see a second, third, and sometimes even forth show just to watch how amazing these guys are live. If you can’t see by now that these guys have an amazing and faithful following then oh well. But us fans will stick by these guys for the next 13 years while you will still be writing your pitiful articles. Hanson will still be making wonderful music as long as we are there with them.

  10. they dont care how many albums they sell. u should watch strong enough to break b/c torwards the end when they find out how many albums they sell they r very happy about it b/c they werent out 2 set a goal 2 have the biggest selling album of all time. they were just happy that they sold that many albums b/c even if they just sold 1 album they would b happy. they dont care about the money, if they could they would have all their concerts and merch b free but they cant do that. i think u messed w/ the fans b/c when someone says something mean about hanson their fans get really defensive about it like me.

  11. One day i will read an article about Hanson that is actually researched properly. You’d think before writing an article a person would take the time to know what they are talking about.

    Hanson haven’t gone the easy route and people will laugh at them because they see them as “has-beens”. Nowadays your sucess or fame is judged by how many tabloids you appear in and not the quality of your work.

    If the current crop of “musicans” want to survive and still sell out shows and make records 15 years from now they would do well to follow hanson’s example.

  12. i honestly just want to know WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THIS?! it seems like he is bullying hanson fans for some really weird reason. it’s really rude. i mean he literally went searching online for weak evidence that hanson isn’t selling albums. all my hanson albums on my shelf begged a differ dude. now go pick on some other fan base.

  13. I think the reason for the CD sales being low from The last album was because not every store sold the album. Like The Best Buy in one state may have sold it but the Best Buy in another state didn’t have the album in their store. It was alot of effort on the fans part to call around to different stores to find the album in a store. Because Walmart had it for 10.00 but Not every walmart had it. When you called it was either what? or You have buy it on our online store. Where I live only two stores had it FYE and Barnes & Nobles. So I don’t blame it on fans not wanting to buy the album. I blame that on stores only ordering Low numbers of the album or only making it online. We waited 3 years from this album so having to order it online is like great it came out today and I have to wait longer to get it.
    But I will say in my quest to find the album I learned that if you have an FYE in your location you can get them to get the album for you if you can’t find it anywhere else.

  14. AS a fellow indie musician I have to say that this post is totally pointless. If you have done any research Napster ruined CD sales for all of us over ten years ago. I am a well educated musician and studio owner and small record label CEO. As far as the sales rank goes you are wasting time counting. YouTube.com is a better way to rank any popularit or just listens on myspace. You are wastin your time if you think that you can get under some Hanson fans’ skin. We as Hanson fans are strong willed people who have withstanded long and hard lives of being made fun of for supporting real people who make music. Not celebrities. Real people who we have walked thousands of miles barefoot with. I am not upset by this post. Not in the least because words on a website are nothing compared to the abuse all of us Hanson fans have endured. I speak for all music lovers and indie musicians everywhere when I say thank you to Hanson for paving a path to success for all of us. Taylor, Isaac, and Zac you have inspired a generation and generations to come. So fans do not let this post bring you down. It’s a waste of time arguing with a critic. They don’t listen and never will. Bash me if you would like but you are wasting your time beating against a bullet proof wall that was built by you yourselves. The critic.

  15. Sadly, Rog’s music repertoire consists primarily of a 1990’s (ie, pre digital) era of Mariah Carey’s, Whitney Houston’s, and Carlos Santana’s; with exceptions being Rob Thomas, Alecia Keys, and anybody else under Clive Davis’ supervision. It’s no surprise that his finger is not on the pulse of indie bands of any sort, let alone Hanson.

    Indifferent to “MMM Bop” and Hanson in 1997, I came onboard in 2003 after hearing their landmark, independent, “Underneath” album and have supported every subsequent project ever since. Further defying stereotype – I am also a professional male 40 years of age. It occurred to me after seeing them at both of their sold out Chicago shows recently, that these guys have what today’s “top” artists like Kesha and Katy Perry can only dream of 13 years from now: a fiercely devout and loyal audience – that shows up on every tour cycle and spends cash – be it on cd’s, apparel, dvd’s, coffee mugs, or tote bags. Never mind the fact that they control profits on each and every aspect of their enterprise. Unfortunately Soundscan (and Roger Friedman) only count the cd numbers for their headlines.

    The music industry would be smart to look at the model Hanson has perfected; a model they pioneered long before the industry even realized it was in trouble. One need only watch Hanson’s acclaimed documentary “Strong Enough To Break” to see just how far ahead of the curve they were.

    Meanwhile, Mariah Carey has a Christmas “record” coming out, doesn’t she, Rog??? Can’t wait!

  16. Must have been a really slow news day. A whole article detailing the sales figures of Hanson’s most recent two albums? Was there really nothing else more interesting to write about? Or were you just looking to piss off the fans?

  17. Well duh Hanson doesn’t sell TONS of records. They are completely independent, and don’t have a label pushing them to make music that ins’t them and promote the album in ways they don’t want to. They do what they want, and have probably the most pleased fan base ever. They interact with their fans like no other, and make TREMENDOUS music. Check out their new album, I think you’ll find that it’s pretty darn substantial.

  18. Hmmm…Perhaps the days of writing blogs counting full CD sales as a measure of how a band or artist is doing have passed, since the business of selling recorded music has almost completely collapsed? Hanson’s live shows are selling extremely well, often selling out, in large clubs (they were House of Blues National Artist of the Month in August) and theaters across the entire US. They sold out the Grammercy Theater in NYC for 5 consecutive nights this April. Their merchandise sales are rediculously high. Their fans camp out and form lines that encircle the venues waiting to get in to the shows, and their shows feature wildly energetic audiences of mostly 20 and 30-somethings, but with teenagers through 50-somethings all well-represented. You didn’t do your research. Hanson is laughing all the way to the bank.

  19. Uhh…believe me, Hanson fans are very loyal. I have already purchased Shout it Out twice, but because there are so very few Hanson fans, obviously their record sales are going to be lower. People are so quick to write Hanson off because of how they were 13 YEARS ago. People change, artists change. Eminem’s music was kind of a joke when he first came out, but he has changed his musical stylings and made a great comeback…so why can’t Hanson?

  20. Yeah, NO ONE IS BUYING CD’s ANYMORE. Not just us, EVERYONE. All of the sale numbers are low for every artist lately. Not just Hanson. Why? Digital download. Most of the ‘top 40’ and hit makers are actually only selling mainly digital versions of the singles, not whole Cd’s. Why? Because many people in the ‘mainstream’ find that when they listen to Gaga’s or Jason Derolio’s whole album they find that they only like the song that’s on the radio. So they only buy the one song not the whole album. You can’t use cd sales to justify lack of mainstream popularity when digital downloads can easily swamp Cd sales. Bring yourself out of the old millennium. Welcome to the digital age!

  21. They would still make music even if they sold 5 albums or 5 million. You can for sure tell they are NOT in this for the money. A lot of artist doesn’t sale too many albums now days, no one hardly buys ANYONES. I am proud to say that I have bought all Hanson’s CD’s in hard copy format, and I am sure I am not alone on this. Every concert they have is packed, most of their mech on their site is sold out. So they may not sell as many records now as they did then, but they do still make money, and they do still have a STRONG fan base, and they do still make amazing music. Which is what it SHOULD be about in the first place, not the amount of albums sold. That is a lot more than I can say for some artist out there today.

  22. You know what roger? You’re just like a fly sitting on top of a carabao, having your free ride. Don’t use Hanson as bait to drive traffic to your blog. Thanks

  23. “The Walk” released last 2007 while SIO just starting this year. But isn’t how many copies of album sold, it’s in the hard work and the energies that the “BAND” gave to the hundreds, thousands or millions FANS across the world!. I am also bought SIO from H.NET to PH.

  24. Your wrong, It’s the dedicated fans that ARE buying their CDs even if the amount isn’t as big as you want it to be. Hanson hasn’t even released the CD internationlly yet,the numbers will go up once they do.
    It’s the people that burn the songs off the internet instead of paying for the actual CD that cause Hanson to lose money and sales. But the interest in them keeps growing and their first single called, Thinking bout somethin’ has been creating a buzz. Don’t count them out just yet.
    Not many bands stay at the level of popularity they had 13 years ago but Hanson still has a core fanbase that will always love the music they continue to make for us.

  25. I guess that depends on what you consider a “day in the sun”. Not too many artists sell tons of CDs anymore; especially not independent artists. Hanson own their own label, so they profit more off of each of those 31,000 CDs than most of the major label artists would. Hanson also tour a lot, and sell merchandise. Touring and merchandise are where most artists make their money now, and Hanson is no exception to that. They have been in the industry for well over a decade, and show no sign of slowing down. Their concerts are generally sold out, or pretty close to being sold out. AND, journalists write about them all the time. Some of them write two or even three articles about them in a matter of a couple of days!

  26. You cannot compare sales from “The Walk,” which is three years old, to “Shout it Out,” which has only been out since June. “Shout it Out” has already sold more than half of what “The Walk” made overall in the not-quite 3 months it’s been out.

  27. No one “buys” cds. Hanson has such devoted fans because they go out on the road and perform. “Stardom” and “success” can no longer be gauged by Soundscan records. Regardless, it’s not a popularity contest. The Hanson brothers have been busting their butts ONSTAGE for a decade now. They’re working musicians with an avid, loyal fanbase.

  28. Um… they’re a COMPLETELY independent band. COMPLETELY. They’re not even signed to an “independent label” like a lot of other artists who claim to be “indie.” They do everything themselves, which means they use only *their own* money to promote the album.

    Their main source of income is not the sale of albums – it’s touring and merchandising. Their fan base may not be the size it once was, but they spend a lot of money on the band.

    So “their day in the sun has come and gone” is a sad little diatribe without much substance. The industry isn’t what it was in 1997 either. When the guy that has the #1 song on the Top 40 chart hasn’t even broken 100,000 copies of his album (this being his SECOND top 5 hit), then it’s pretty evident that Hanson, who shares profits with no label or management, is going the smart route.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.