Music is created by the hymn of words and the inner burst of chaotic expression. Artists feel the urge to sell their music as after all, starting from a particular point, art also becomes a business. This simple fact does not invalidate the purpose of art. Instead, it gives to art another layer. You can find a handful of important information on navigating through that layer in 15 Great Music Marketing Tips for 2020.
Throughout music history, some artists/bands managed to promote their music in a way that made them household names for generations to come. Some of their music marketing campaigns became even more popular than the albums they promoted. To get a general idea on album promotion, you can check out How Do You Promote a Music Album? before diving deep into this article.
Here, MusicPromoToday decided to tell you about 3 extremely famous music marketing campaigns that helped make our favorite artists/bands as popular as they are now.
1. 50 Cent’s ‘Curtis’ – Kanye West’s ‘Graduation’ Drama
With 50 Cent’s The Massacre losing the Grammy for best rap album to Kanye for Late Registration in 2006, these two hip hop giants already became famous friendly rivals. So, when both of their albums were released the same day, to say the hype over them was massive is an understatement.
Initially, 50 Cent’s Curtis was planned to release on September 11, 2007, and Kanye’s Graduation was planned to come out on September 18. However, right before the release time, Kanye’s album release date changed and was brought forward.
The release date change resulted in a clash of a head-to-head battle no one in the hip hop world will ever forget. 50 Cent even announced he would quit rapping if Kanye sells more than him. Eventually, Kanye sold a million copies, and 50 Cent sold 300000 less. He did not quit, as you know, but worked a crazy amount of money as well as Kanye on that musical beef. If you want to find out The What, Why, and How of Building a Music Career, go ahead and read our article.
In the end, it turned out both of Kanye’s and Cent’s albums were released on the Universal record label. The whole release date game and album war was a publicity stunt from the label to sell more from albums. As you probably guessed, it worked perfectly.
2. Radiohead’s struggle with Kid A, In Rainbow Won Hearts
The fact that Tom York, Radiohead’s frontman, said their album ‘In Rainbow’ brought him more money than anything they’ve ever done before speaks for itself. Let’s take a look at the story behind this statement.
Another Radiohead album named ‘Kid A’ was highly anticipated in 2000, during its first release. As York almost scored a complete breakdown because of Radiohead’s previous album “OK Computer” promotion full of crazy tours, the band decided to differently approach the ‘Kid A’ promotion. They decided to market the album entirely online.
The album’s anticipation grew even higher as Kid A was the first album in music history to get promoted only online. iBlip, a small addition to fan sites, was created that made it possible to preview briefly and pre-order the album. However, the band was not happy about the way the album was marketed. So, seven years later, they decided to do everything their way.
In Rainbow, they took a completely different approach and changed the way albums were bought prior. They allowed fans to purchase the album in an old fashioned way while also making it available digitally for a very low price. After two months, they claimed that digital sales profit was bigger than what they got from all of their previous albums.
The digital world changes fast, and making money out of it is not the same as it was back then. To keep up with the recent trends check out A New Digital World Order – Live Streaming, TikTok The Weeknd, Sal Xo & Beirut.
3. Frank Ocean – ‘Blonde’
Ocean knows how to make fans wait. It’s not like we’re complaining, though. Frank Ocean released his first album Channel Orange in 2012, and it was an absolute hit. Because of this, fans were waiting for a quick follow up. But they had to wait four long years to get it. Even then, Ocean teased them properly before releasing the album.
In 2016 the rapper started teasing fans with throwing hits here and there indicating a new album to be released in a month. From all of the cryptic clues the fans got, they concluded the record to be titled Boys Don’t Cry. Nothing specific came from Ocean. On August 1, he shared a video of him playing instruments that turned out to be a trailer for a visual album called Endless, entirely released on August 19.
The tension was high; fans were waiting for the album to be released every minute, and they got a visual ‘album.’ Everyone was confused. Were they waiting four years for it? After creating a situation where everyone, even those who never heard of his name, talked about his new album or the theory that it does not exist, Ocean released it. On August 20, the release of Blonde became a complete surprise and long-awaited gift for fans. To find out how it turned out and what happened later, check Frank Ocean’s release of Blonde marks the start of a major fight in the music industry.
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