It’s the album everybody’s talking about and yet no one knew about it. If you haven’t heard by now, Beyonce has finally released her fifth studio album. It’s simply titled Beyonce and has been deemed a “visual album.” The album features 14 new songs with 17 accompanying music videos.
“I see music as more than just what I hear. When I’m connected to something, I immediately see a visual or a series of images that are tied to a feeling or an emotion, a memory from my childhood, thoughts about life, my dreams or my fantasies and they’re all connected to the music. And I think that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to do a visual album,” she said in a Facebook video.
She exclusively released the album through iTunes and no one had a clue. Not even her biggest fans. It is reported that once the news broke, the album sold 80,000 copies in three hours. This is revolutionary because it sets a precedent for how albums are marketed and how music is experienced.
Long gone are the days where top artists sell millions of albums within a few weeks and land at the top of the charts. Singers and bands spent months making appearances on talk shows and giving interviews for radio shows, magazines, and other entertainment outlets. This was all to ensure that the public knew about the new release and would buy the album. And in order to hit number one, or to make the top 10, you had to sell a lot of records. Now, you can grab the top spot on Billboard with just over or under 100,000. Just after a few hours of its release, Beyonce is already expected to be number one. Again, no one even knew it was coming out.
Britney Spears just finished a huge promo tour for her album Britney Jean. It seemed like she was everywhere. This marketing plan was risky for her because, let’s face it, Britney’s mental state is always in question and it seemed like she lost a lot of her charming personality when she was a judge on “The X-Factor.” I think the promo tour went well, and yet the pop princess’s album only debuted at number four and sold just 106,000 copies.
Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Miley Cyrus all heavily promoted their albums and each debuted at number one. However, sales were not overly impressive. Each album sold a little over 250,000 copies. Eminem’s album did better in its first week with 792,000 and Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience sold an extraordinary 968,000 with its debut. However, these numbers are still lower than those seen prior to primarily digital music industry.
The lack of promotion might actually help sales. Everyone was wondering when Beyonce would release new music. Fans thought a new album was on the way when “The Mrs. Carter Show” tour was announced and two new songs were released. However, an album was never announced and Beyonce played coy when the topic came up. The anticipation grew as the months passed by. With a surprise album drop, all fans are going to get the album and all media outlets are talking about what Queen B just did.
Beyonce’s self titled album is also innovative because of the visual aspect. She recently noted how the music industry and the consumption of music has changed. She said she was an artist who tells a story in her music. A full album takes the listener on a journey. However, in a digital age, we buy songs instead of albums. Beyonce has now found a way to release her creative outlet and continue to tell a story through music videos.
Beyonce is continuing to create her legacy in the music industry. She just became the most Grammy nominated female in history with her 46th nomination and Beyonce is already making history. Have you gotten your copy? What are your thoughts on B’s new musical effort and marketing strategy? Join the conversation and leave a comment.
Image credit to FameFlynet