Music Business

Bluey: From TV Sensation to Children’s Music Phenomenon

Discover how Bluey, the beloved children’s TV show, evolved into a global music phenomenon with over 500 million streams. In this exclusive interview, Demon Music Group discusses the secrets to its success.

by SHANNON SILVER of The Orchard’s Daily Rind

An animated Blue Heeler puppy named Bluey has taken over children’s hearts and stereos worldwide. When it premiered on Australian television in 2018, Bluey quickly became one of the most popular children’s shows in the country. Then in 2020, when streaming services like Disney+ added the program to their platforms, Bluey found an entirely new international audience. 

The silly games and adventures aren’t the only thing captivating Bluey’s young audience. Bluey’s original music, composed by Joff Bush and released by Demon Music Group, has won ARIA awards and reached the top of the music charts (No. 1 on Australia’s Albums chart, No. 1 US Kids Albums, No. 9 UK Independent Albums, etc.). 

In May, Bluey’s soundtrack reached the incredible milestone of 500 million music streams! We spoke with Paul Tucker from Demon Music Groupthe record label behind Bluey’s original music, on reaching this milestone, the effects of technology on the Children’s Music genre, and how developing a Children’s Music act differs from other genres.

Reaching half a billion streams is quite a milestone. What led to that moment?

Reaching half a billion streams is an incredible milestone for any artist, let alone for an animated Blue Heeler puppy! It also highlights the continued phenomenal growth of Bluey streams and the incredible work the Digital team at Demon Music and the wider BBC Studios teams have undertaken to get us to this magical milestone. 

You might not believe it, but it took over 2 years to reach our first 250,000,000 streams. And in just 10 months, we’ve doubled that number! It helps whenever a new episode or series of the show drops on Disney+. We generally see a large spike in streams on the catalogue and a healthy appetite for the music. 

It really has been a fun and collaborative working process from the wider teams at Demon Music Group, BBC Studios, and the brilliant sales team at The Orchard all pulling together and working tirelessly to deliver big campaigns, such that we have been able to execute global campaigns with the streaming giants of the likes of Spotify. For example, we worked on a global Bluey partnership led out of Spotify Australia whereby, amongst a host of activities, a particularly proud moment was seeing a giant outdoor Billboard of Bluey’s Dance Mode! album cover plastered all over Melbourne Square in Australia! 

We never sit still. We’re always pursuing opportunities. Even if there’s no new music, we’re always looking at ways to maximise the catalogue,  such as adding to existing versions of the tracks. We recently delivered localised language versions of the “Bluey Theme Tune – Extended” to capitalise on the interest in the music of growing markets such as LATAM.

What is it about Bluey that resonates with audiences? 

It is the authenticity of the show. To my mind, there is nothing out there like it in the market. The show’s creators draw inspiration from their own experiences as parents, resulting in genuine portrayals of family dynamics and childhood wonder. The most important point of Bluey for the parents and other caregivers in the audience is Bluey’s portrayal of modern parenthood. I speak for myself as a father to a young daughter, and not ashamed to say that I have learned a thing or two from the hero Dad character in Bluey, aka Bandit!

It is the one show you can watch as a parent with your kid. There are diverse levels of storylines, emotions, parenting advice… You can really sympathise with the characters, sometimes even cry (The “Camping” episode really got to my partner and me!). I do not believe you get that in any other kids’ shows. 

And of course, I would be a miss to not mention the incredibly produced musical landscapes provided throughout each episode by Joff Bush, the show’s music composer. The music helps bring the special scenes in Bluey to life. 

How does technology, such as streaming platforms or interactive apps, influence the consumption of children’s music today? 

Technology plays a huge role in the consumption of Children’s music. This includes both video streaming (Disney+, iPlayer) and music consumption from the various DSPs and short-form video platforms, such as TikTok and Instagram Reels.

Via tablet, it’s possible to watch on the go, in the car, on the train, in the restaurant – anywhere! With Video On Demand, children can choose what episode they want, in whatever language they want. Repeatedly. And then you add voice technology into the mix with smart devices at home, which can be controlled by your child’s voice, giving the child the power to request songs whenever they want. 

We ran an activation on the last album campaign for Dance Mode! to encourage users to say “Hey Alexa, play Dance Mode!” to an Amazon Echo. That became a popular routine after dinner time at home within our household, with my toddler dancing around the kitchen and cracking up!

How does developing and sustaining a Children’s Music act differ from other genres?

A key challenge with a Children’s Music act, or at least in our case with Bluey, is that the music derives from the TV show. Each series takes a year or two to produce, and the music is a central part of the show. It is quite a lengthy process, but an integral one and always worth the wait, once Joff gets into the recording studio to complete each record. 

The albums feature different variations of the songs from the TV show, so we must be patient and respect the recording process of Joff Bush and his band of musicians. People often think Children’s Music or Kids’ music is music composed and performed for Children, which might be the case for other shows, but I think in Bluey’s case, the music appeals to both the children and parents. It is incredibly unique in that sense! 

What’s next for Bluey? 

Well… there is so much happening with the brand globally.  In terms of the forthcoming latest music, I am incredibly happy to say that we (Demon Music Group) will have a much-anticipated third Bluey album dropping in October this year, which l just know already is going to be HUGE! We have even bigger plans with this one internationally… so watch this space! 

A billion Bluey streams is the next milestone we have tasked ourselves with as a team, which is incredibly ambitious, but we will all be striving towards reaching that target in 2025!

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