The music business has increasingly become a thing of strategy. This year in particular, artists seem to be one-upping each other on music promotion (or in this case, the lack thereof), execution, branding and the process by which albums are released.
Friday, news broke that Grammy award-winning artist Beyonce secretly released her new self-titled album – which features 14 songs and 17 videos – via iTunes. No promotion, no bells & whistles and no countdown. And according to critics, it might be her savviest move yet.
In the first day of its release, Beyonce sold 430,000 copies. Billboard projects that number to swell to 600,000 by Tuesday, in which case, according to Time, “Beyonce will notch her best debut week and best sales-week period of her career.”
Apparently, the download arrangement has proved lucrative. Consumers paid $15.99 to download the entire album. No singles allowed so far. Beyonce is expected to be in retail stores later this month.
According to The New York Times article, “Beyonce Rejects Tradition for Social Media’s Power,” the method by which the album was released showed “the marketing value of no marketing” and “was a smashing success.”
“The news quickly spread well past Beyoncé’s core audience, however. The online reaction to the album’s release — according to data from Twitter cited by Billboard, the news generated 1.2 million tweets in 12 hours — became a news story in itself. Other stars like Katy Perry and Lady Gaga promoted it to their millions of followers on social media, magnifying the attention. The album also quickly gained critical acclaim,” the article cites.