SONGLAND Boss on the Success of 'Champagne Night' and Why They Opted to Not Digitally Release Season 2 Runner-Up Songs - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

SONGLAND Boss on the Success of ‘Champagne Night’ and Why They Opted to Not Digitally Release Season 2 Runner-Up Songs

July 20, 2020 by  

Songland season 2 songs

SONGLAND — “Lady Antebellum” Episode 201 — Pictured: (l-r) Lady Antebellum, Shane McAnally, Ester Dean, Ryan Tedder — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

SONGLAND’s first season boasted a number of success stories—digital number #1s; John Legend, already in the NBC family, partnered with the network for a memorable campaign using his winning song; a tune was specifically designed for a FAST & THE FURIOUS film; The Black Eyed Peas took all of the final songs for the episode (though they didn’t appear on the group’s recent Latin album, a source notes the songs will appear on an upcoming BEP release); and THE VOICE got a new coach out of the Jonas Brothers’ episode—the season 2 decision by country group Lady A to take their chosen song, “Champagne Night,” to radio changed things for the show.

“It was a dream,” SONGLAND boss Audrey Morrissey gushes. “That’s what we’re all working towards. That’s what we want to have happen every time; we’re swinging for the fences that way. There are obviously many reasons why that doesn’t happen often—they usually have different musics out there in the pipeline. But what was so incredible about that happening with Lady A, and to have it at the top of this season, was it was the show working. It was proof of concept that an artist could come on the show, hear four songs, work on three of them, and ultimately select one and just feel so good about it.”

In the season 2 premiere, “[Lady A] loved the song from the beginning,” Morrissey points out. “In the episode they talked about how how they’re always looking for the sort of a jam song, because for them, a lot of their songs tend to be more ballad[-like]. And this was just like a fun song. They said they’re always looking for those, especially in their sets when they’re touring, to get the crowd excited. So they always loved it.”

The fan reaction after the song was released made it an easy call to make it a proper single. “Their team couldn’t ignore the reaction and the fact it was connecting in a big way,” Morrissey says. “We basically got contacted that there was a real shot to go to radio and then we quickly got their entire team on the phone, including the label, [connected them] together with NBC, and just said, ‘We’re here for you. What can we do to help you amplify this on our end? And we’ll just support you every step of the way.'”

And NBC made good on their word: “Champagne Night” was performed (remotely) on THE TONIGHT SHOW and THE VOICE finale. (Morrissey also runs THE VOICE.)

With that success in mind, the SONGLAND producers also made a calculated choice to keep the runner-up songs off digital platforms in season 2, unlike 1, where the songwriters were free to release the songs themselves.

“Season 1, we anticipated that people would fall in love with all this songs, and there would be the many viewers who disagreed with the choice of the guest artists; they wouldn’t have made the same choice and that they would want to enjoy the music. So we so we put it out,” Morrissey says. “This season we decided to not put them out in the hopes that by not releasing them, we could, behind the scenes, hopefully place the song with other established artists as opposed to having the songwriters themselves release them.”

“It was an experiment in a way: does not releasing them pay off in helping these songs find homes with more established artists?” she continues. “In the case of one of them, with [THE VOICE winner] Todd Tilghman, he got his first single from the Lady A episode. There’s already been activity along those lines with some of the other [not selected] songs. Nothing’s firm or concrete yet, but like that is a process that’s actually happening as we speak.”

The producers are also navigating how they’ll keep viewers informed if and when the songs are placed, especially if it happens when the show isn’t currently airing. “We’ll definitely release that information,” Morrissey says. “I think in future seasons, we’ll give updates, potentially, on-air. We’ll want to do all we can to keep people apprised. We’ve been so overwhelmed with the viewer support and love for the show. People who enjoy the show, really love it.”

SONGLAND, Season 2, Streaming on Peacock


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