20 Different Ways to Release an Album: From Beyonce to Frank Ocean to U2 & Beyond
September 1, 2016 - Finding Carter
Over a final few years, a strain industry’s long-untouched proceed to releasing albums has been usually chopped to pieces by swap placement methods, and artists anticipating ingenious ways to mishandle a normal manuscript rollout.
Whether it’s a warn album, a disdainful release, a code partnership, a windowed rollout, or any mixed of a 3 — or even surprises around snail mail — here are 20 innovative album releases from a past 3 years.
From Beyonce to Frank Ocean, Breaking Down a Mechanics, and Politics, Behind Streaming Exclusives
The Justin Timberlake
Album: The 20/20 Experience Pts. we and II
Release Date: Mar 15, 2013; Sept. 27, 2013
Strategy: It had been some-more than 6 years given Timberlake put out an manuscript when he expelled lead singular “Suit Tie” featuring Jay Z in Jan of 2013, and after an extended and successful incursion into acting, fans were prepared for his return. Accordingly, a initial of a dual albums debuted during No. 1 on a Billboard 200, offered 968,000 copies in a initial week, a tip sales week of 2013. Shortly following he announced a messenger second side, expelled roughly accurately 6 weeks later, with a double-packaged The 20/20 Experience – The Complete Experience nearing on a same day. Timberlake wasn’t a initial to separate albums in half, yet his was a remarkably successful effort.
The Jay Z
Album: Magna Carta…Holy Grail
Release Date: Jul 4, 2013
Strategy: No foreigner to changing a game, Jay Z partnered with Samsung in a understanding value a reported $20 million to recover his 12th solo studio manuscript on a 4th of July, delivering digital downloads to a initial one million Samsung Galaxy phone owners who downloaded a tradition app on release. Jay claimed that finished MCHG a gold manuscript overnight, observant that Samsung purchased any duplicate for $5, and a RIAA concluded — yet Billboard‘s charts dialect did not, arguing that sales count when people buy a albums, not corporations. Regardless, when it became accessible for sale on Jul 7, fans still bought it in droves, and MCHG became Hov’s 13th No. 1 manuscript on a Billboard 200 (including collaborative projects with R. Kelly, Linkin Park and Kanye West), offered 528,000 copies in a initial week.
The Beyonce, Part I
Release Date: Dec. 13, 2013
Strategy: When people speak about a “surprise album” recover plan these days, Beyonce’s self-titled fifth solo manuscript is generally hold adult as a prototype. Conceived, accessible and filmed (individual videos for all 14 songs, as good as 3 additional videos, were finished accessible on release) in secret, Beyonce held fans and a attention by warn when she expelled a manuscript — right in a center of her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, no reduction — exclusively around a iTunes Store yet even any denote she had been operative on one during all. Beyonce debuted atop a Billboard 200 with 617,000 copies sold, notwithstanding a fact it had usually been accessible for 3 days of a tracking week, and set in suit a trend that permeated recover strategies ever since.
Album: Songs of Innocence
Release Date: Sept. 9, 2014
Strategy: Long compared with Apple’s iconic iPod ads in a mid-2000s, U2 partnered with a association to recover Songs of Innocence directly to iPhone users’ iTunes libraries, with their singular “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)” a soundtrack to a media debate reportedly valued during $100 million. The unusual recover finished a manuscript accessible to 500 million people worldwide for free, with Apple announcing that 81 million people “experienced” a manuscript in a initial month of availability. The recover was positively effective in terms of scale and revenue, yet retailers — left in a dim as Apple flexed a five-week disdainful window — and fans were reduction than pleased. A month later, Bono apologized, saying, “I had this pleasing thought and we got carried divided with ourselves.”
The Global Listening Event
Album: What a Time to Be Alive
Release Date: Sept. 20, 2015
Strategy: Drake and Future’s What a Time to Be Alive album/mixtape had so many hum that fans were formulating independent web sites with countdowns that led to nothing, all designed to gain on a hectic hype of a dual hottest rappers in a diversion during a impulse putting out a full-length corner project. But what Drake did was use his OVO Sound radio to entrance a record in a entirety — a initial time he would implement that sold height to emanate what he called a “global listening event” (DJ Khaled and others would use a same formula). The manuscript became accessible immediately after a uncover finished as an Apple exclusive, and shot true to No. 1 on a Billboard 200 — a second No. 1 manuscript of 2015 for any artist.
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The Eric Church
Album: Mr. Misunderstood
Release Date: Nov. 3, 2015
Strategy: Technology, digital, streaming, downloads, exclusives — there have been a lot of hum difference drifting around a strain attention in new years as everybody races to acquire a subsequent new trend. But afterwards came Nov. 3, when members of Eric Church’s fan bar non-stop their common mailboxes to find a code new manuscript — a earthy CD, no less! — delivered directly to them with no before warning. A bit of sell disguise that occurred forward of time left some stores in a dim and others confused, while a manuscript was marketed as an iTunes digital download disdainful for a initial 7 days before creation a approach to streaming services.
Release Date: Nov. 20, 2015
Strategy: With streaming expenditure flourishing some-more widespread by a week, many artists would find it risky to cut out a height when releasing an album. But Adele is not many artists. Withholding a new manuscript from streaming services is not accurately a novel tactic — Adele did it for her final album, 21, as did Taylor Swift, Coldplay and others — yet it positively helped a British thespian break a 15-year-old record for many sales in a singular week with 3.38 million copies in a initial 7 days after a release. This June, 7 months after 25 his shelves, Adele finally expelled a manuscript to streaming services, that soon propelled it behind into a tip 10 of a Billboard 200.
The David Bowie
Release Date: Jan. 8, 2016
Strategy: In life, there’s usually one unequivocally final hurrah, and it can be formidable to get right. But not for David Bowie. Having dim his cancer from all yet a few tighten acquaintances, he suggested a creepy, auspicious video for lead singular “Lazarus” on Jan. 7, in that he sings of being in sky while strapped to a sanatorium bed. Three days later, a mythological artist was dead, withdrawal behind a final goodbye for fans that desired him worldwide. It competence not have been an innovative recover strategy, per se, yet we won’t find many imitators — that’s for sure.
Release Date: Jan. 29, 2016
Strategy: Taking a root from Jay Z’s book, Rihanna partnered with Samsung for a recover of her long-awaited Anti manuscript in a understanding that, all resources included, was rumored to be value $25 million. That enclosed a sponsorship for her universe debate as good as an eight-part interactive “diary,” radically an app that authorised fans to try opposite practical bedrooms that were unbarred over Nov and Dec of 2015. Album delays left fans unresolved after a final room opened, however, until a finish of Jan when her singular “Work” featuring Drake finally emerged on radio. Anti was expelled a night of Jan. 27 as a Tidal streaming and download disdainful — a many high-profile disdainful for a use to that indicate — and as a giveaway download for one million Samsung users bundled with a giveaway 60-day hearing of Tidal, nonetheless an early trickle injured a rollout. It was expelled widely to digital distributors on Jan. 29, yet a ungainly timing of a recover meant Anti primarily debuted during No. 27 on a Billboard 200 formed on usually a initial day of availability, before it soared to a limit a following week.
The Kanye West
Album: The Life of Pablo
Release Date: Feb. 14, 2016
Strategy: “Unprecedented” competence be a bit of an understatement for a strangest manuscript rollout in new history. But Kanye is famous for pulling a envelope, and this time he kept pulling it even after Pablo had been released. West primarily premiered a manuscript during his Yeezy 3 conform uncover on Feb. 11, live-streamed both on Tidal and during film theaters opposite a universe (fans perceived a document for a digital download of a manuscript when purchasing tickets), even yet a manuscript still wasn’t done. Then, following his Feb. 14th entrance on Saturday Night Live, he finally expelled a album, primarily as an disdainful tide on Tidal and as a $20 download on his possess site, usually to mislay a download choice a brief time after since he was unfortunate with a masters. But Pablo remained streaming on Tidal for 6 weeks, even as West continued to tinker with a final mixes — tweaking production, adding lyrics and verses — and announced a manuscript would never be for sale. But on Apr 1, Pablo was expelled to all streaming services and digital retailers, and Pablo eventually became a first-ever manuscript to entrance atop a Billboard 200 albums draft with a infancy of a homogeneous manuscript units entrance from streams. (Tidal declined to news a streams to Nielsen Music in a 6 weeks prior.)
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Album: I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It
Release Date: Feb. 26, 2016
Strategy: Playing favorites yet committing fully to one service, The 1975 debuted their latest manuscript — their initial No. 1 on a Billboard 200 — on paid subscription streaming services, rolling a bones by incompatible Spotify for a initial dual weeks of a release. That’s a plan that Coldplay and others have employed in a past, yet The 1975 combined a fold by stuffing their pockets with Apple money; in a week heading adult to a album’s release, they achieved a first-ever live eventuality put on by Apple’s Beats 1 Radio, an disdainful tide that debuted a night before a album’s release.
The Beyonce, Part II
Release Date: Apr 23, 2016
Strategy: “Formation” seemed on YouTube with no allege warning on Feb. 6, a day before Beyonce achieved a strain during her bomb Super Bowl Halftime Show set. The manuscript itself got a mysterious seven-day teaser trailer, earnest a “world premiere event” on HBO a night of Apr 23. What arrived that night was a 60-minute “visual album” with any of a project’s 12 marks soundtracking a film about betrayal, hurt, acceptance and redemption that HBO authorised viewers to watch for free, regardless of either they owned a subscription. The manuscript arrived that dusk after a premiere eventuality finished as a download and streaming disdainful on Tidal, before being expelled for sale to digital retailers 24 hours later, debuting atop a Billboard 200. Lemonade stays a Tidal disdainful for streaming, with a use observant a window will final “in perpetuity.”
Release Date: Apr 29, 2016
Strategy: For an manuscript with such a long, drawn out build up, Views arrived in a shade of Beyonce’s Lemonade, expelled usually 6 days earlier. But led as it was by a beast pound “One Dance,” a attainment as an Apple disdainful cracked annals immediately — eventually, he would possess 4 of a tip 5 one-week streaming annals ever, notwithstanding being sectioned off into Apple Music for a initial dual weeks (though a singles were accessible on Spotify and others.) Drake is believed to have a closest attribute with Apple among all a artists it has finished deals with, and a selling pull behind a album’s recover — a debate sponsorship, iTunes takeovers, sponsored videos, OVO Sound Radio etc. — helped it turn a highest-selling manuscript expelled in 2016, and helped Drake sequence all summer ’16.
Album: A Moon Shaped Pool
Release Date: May 8, 2016
Strategy: It began, in standard Radiohead fashion, with a mystery: on Apr 30, some fans perceived a prospectus in a mail with a phrase, “Burn a Witch,” and a following day a band’s website and amicable networks all went dark. Slowly, teaser videos and clues leaked out until May 3, when a stop suit animation video for a strain “Burn a Witch” strictly announced a new manuscript to be imminent, followed by a mid-day, 2 p.m. recover on Mother’s Day, no less. Pool was expelled right divided to digital retailers and paid subscription streaming services — aka, not Spotify — for a initial 6 weeks, until a rope eventually expelled it to Spotify Jun 17. The latest in a decade’s worth of artistic recover strategies for a group.
The Chance a Rapper
Album: Coloring Book
Release Date: May 12, 2016
Strategy: Not tied to a tag and dynamic to keep his strain free, Chance a Rapper cut a understanding with Apple Music to recover his third solo project, Coloring Book, as an disdainful tide for dual weeks with no download choice — a reprise of sorts to a understanding Apple gave his 2015 Donnie Trumpet and a Social Experiment plan Surf, that stays a usually manuscript “sold” for giveaway around a iTunes Store. As a result, Coloring Book became a first-ever manuscript to seem on a Billboard 200 draft formed on streams alone, debuting during No. 8 with 38,000 homogeneous manuscript units formed on 57.3 million first-week streams.
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The Ariana Grande
Album: Dangerous Woman
Release Date: May 20, 2016
Strategy: Grande was active in a graduation plan in a buildup to this album, utilizing Instagram, Snapchat, TV performances and mixed web sites to assistance beget buzz. And while a manuscript was expelled widely on May 20 to all retailers and distributors, she used Apple Music to exclusively entrance a new strain from a LP each day in a 7 days heading adult to Dangerous Woman‘s release. In that way, she was means to precedence Apple’s disdainful offerings, while not really committing to an exclusive.
The Epic AF
Album: Epic AF
Release Date: Jul 17, 2016
Strategy: Label compilations are zero new, while playlists will substantially never go away. But in a streaming world, Epic Records figured they could be one and a same, and finished a collection of singles disconnected to other projects together into a playlist, slapped a tag on it, called it an manuscript and landed a tip 10 entrance formed on streaming homogeneous and lane homogeneous albums only. Expect to see some-more labels go this track to fill otherwise-barren recover report periods.
The Frank Ocean
Release Date: Aug. 20, 2016
Strategy: Disenchanted with his label, Def Jam, and seeking leisure from his recording contract, Ocean pulled a manoeuvre by delivering a visible manuscript Endless to his tag in sequence to perform his deal, profitable behind as many as $5 million, according to one source, to Universal Music for a uninformed slate. But a bigger, some-more startling scheme came a following day, when Ocean delivered a “real” manuscript — a 17-track recover patrician Blond — to Apple as a download and streaming disdainful around his possess label, Boys Don’t Cry, yet Def Jam or Universal’s involvement. It was a rare, confidant pierce — and it could feasible lead to a lawsuit. But some-more than that, it valid that for a certain form of top-tier artist with a clinging fan base, usually about anything is on a table.
The De La Soul
Album: And The Anonymous Nobody
Release Date: Aug. 26, 2016
Strategy: Hamstrung by digital copyright laws and incompetent to make income off their extravagantly successful behind catalog due to representation clearway issues, De La found themselves in a bit of what The New York Times called a “digital limbo,” and incited to their fans — around a successful Kickstarter debate — for help. The outcome is a group’s initial manuscript in over a decade, and a acquire lapse for one of a innovators of a genre.
The Jason Aldean
Album: They Don’t Know
Release Date: Sept. 9, 2016
Strategy: Long a proponent of satisfactory remuneration for a group of writers and producers that assistance him qualification his albums, Aldean has waffled in a past on his perspective of streaming services, stealing his final manuscript from Spotify in Nov 2014 usually to lapse it to a use a year after due to fan demand. But for his subsequent one, out in September, he’s perplexing to concede by self-denial it from all streaming services for one month, enlivening his fans to buy his manuscript before he creates it accessible as a stream. “If we wish something that’s code new, you’re peaceful to compensate a cost for it,” he told Billboard about a decision. “And then, after it’s been out for a while, we competence get it during a discount. That’s usually business 101.”