This past December, Beyoncé shocked her fans with her best-kept secret by releasing her self-titled “visual album” on iTunes. The Washington Post reported that “Beyoncé” went on to sell more than 800,000 units during its first weekend.
Recently, iTunes has becoming the main outlet for artists to drop their surprise albums. And without any hype surrounding its release, it almost looks like musicians are coming up with this idea all by themselves. But there’s definitely a mastermind behind it all, it’s deeper than that.
It could definitely be a marketing strategy by record labels. Listeners want to have exclusivity when it comes to their favorite artist and there’s no better way to feel special than to have possession of their music before they planned on sharing it to the world.
Unlike Beyoncé who started the trend, Kid Cudi gave his fans a heads up a couple hours before he pulled his stunt last week as he geared up to release his digital album, “Satellite Flight: Journey to the Mother Moon.”
Now, what do these albums have in common? They all dropped at midnight through social media. Beyoncé uploaded a video of her “visual album” to her Instagram account and Kid Cudi gave hints to his Twitter followers tweeting that it was “time to make the world stand still.”
Today, Rick Ross also tweeted that his sixth studio album, “Mastermind,” has been released a day early. Maybe he should’ve pushed the date back to receive the “wow factor” since Kid Cudi already shocked the media last week.
Soon there’ll be other major ways to release albums, but for now iTunes will be the main portal.