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Compact Disc to Digital Streaming: The Universal Islands of Adventure Soundtrack

Finalist in Community Management


Music plays a crucial role in theme park experiences, acting as an invisible thread that weaves through every aspect of our parks at Universal. From setting the tone to enhancing emotions, music is vital in the creation of immersive experiences - and Universal Islands of Adventure is no different. Back in 1998 when the park opened, Universal Creative developed a brand-new score for each of the islands and attractions and, for a time, that soundtrack was sold as a CD (that's how we listened to music, kids) in gift shops. Fast forward to present day and that soundtrack has long been out of print, but the longing for those tracks by fans as lead them to upload bootleg copies and physically record the audio from speakers around the park. Each year, the team gets hundreds of messages from fans asking us to rerelease the soundtrack again.

Our goal on the UDX Social Media team is to always listen to the fans and this time, the fans wanted the original Universal Islands of Adventure Soundtrack. While the social media team doesn’t have the power to press new CDs, our goal was to find a way to make it available digitally and finally give the fans what they’ve been asking for.


While it might seem painfully simple to just rip the audio off of the original soundtrack and upload the track to the information superhighway, there are many additional steps and stakeholders involved in any content that we create - even content that already exists. We started the campaign with a creative brief detailing the intent to publish the soundtrack on YouTube and additional streaming services while highlighting the demand for such a campaign through social listening reports. We showed what the fans were asking for and how to solve for it. Our creative team then began collecting the original track files and combining them with custom animated backgrounds for YouTube. Because many of the tracks were attached to intellectual properties, all of the completed music had to be reapproved for release by our licensors.

As a way to tease the digital release of the soundtrack, we posted the original CD art with the upcoming release date – which led to a frenzy of wild speculation.


By listening to the fans, we gave them what they wanted - digital copies of the theme park music. For us, we gained more credibility with our fandom and learned even more about their needs. After the initial digital release, fans began asking for a physical copy to be created, so, with social listening data in hand, we shared that with our merchandise team. By focusing on fan-first social listening and engagement, we've created an always-on focus group we can learn from and help us make business decisions.


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Entrant Company / Organization Name

Universal Destinations & Experiences


Entry Credits