If you can’t sell records in today’s world then you might as well sell surprise and immediacy. Beyoncé released a surprise bundled album last week leveraging her army of social fans, plus supportive tweets from Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. Other than Miley Cyrus’s twerk, I think that it was the most significant music story in 2013.
As I tweeted:
2013: “Surprise releases from Beyoncé + Lorde on same day. Expect to see more of the social driven surprise viral releases.” – “@bombtune
It’s difficult to create scarcity in the digital world of infinite inventory and piracy. The only way to create hype is to make one big splash instead of a cumulative one. If you have the millions of followers that Beyoncé has, you can afford to ship new content on impulse.
Digital downloads along with physical record sales are done and gone. The only way to revive buying is through a flash type sale that rides the viral nature of social media hype.