Journal of the
Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association
Volume 13, Number 1 (2013)

A Historical Investigation of Patterns in Sophomore Album Release

Jennifer Fowler, Belmont University
Stuart J. Fowler,  Middle Tennessee State University
Rush Hicks, Belmont University


Nielsen SoundScan and Billboard chart data for the periods 1993- 2003 are utilized to create a cohort panel dataset comprised of “Heatseekers” artists and groups for the purpose of studying historical patterns of sophomore album release. Following Hendricks and Sorensen (2008), the genres used in this study include Rock, Rap/R&B/Dance, and Country/ Blues. The econometric model employed is a hazard function as described in Cameron and Trivedi (2009) and Wooldridge (2010). For the panel of acts, the paper documents the following empirical facts. First, the hazard function indicates that most sophomore albums are released 45 months after the debut album and if a sophomore release does not occur within 80 months of the debut album there will most likely be no sophomore release. Second, the time between album release is a function of past album sales; all else equal, the larger the hit the less time it takes for the next album to be released. Third, genre influences the timing of release; all else constant, the Rap/R&B/Dance genre consistently delayed sophomore albums relative to the Country/Blues and Rock genres. Fourth, conditional on successful debut album sales, acts from the Country/Blues and Rap/R&B/ Dance genres release more quickly than acts from the Rock genre.

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