The months, Taylor Swift, Kanye West and

The conventional method of releasing albums to the most outlets possible for the biggest impact worked out well for most artists. But as album sales continued to drop and the number of streaming services grew, exclusive releases have become a testing ground for creating a new marketing model for music sales. In the last few months, Taylor Swift, Kanye West and Frank Ocean have all released albums exclusive to a streaming service.

Also, Chance the Rapper achieved massive success this year with an assist from an Apple exclusive, proving that record labels are not necessary for success.On 10th of November 2017, Taylor Swift exclusively released her album, Reputation, making the only way to listen to Reputation was to to buy it either online, or accompanied by a bonkers-looking magazine at Target, most of the album’s sales came from digital and physical stores. Even without streaming — which accounted for 62 percent of the U.

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S. music business in the first half of 2017, according to the RIAA — Reputation actually sold better than the rest of the Billboard 200 combined. The downside of this strategy was that when it became available for streaming 3 weeks later, the fans were already frustrated. Also, what Kanye West did with The Life of Pablo, which streamed exclusively on Tidal for the first six weeks, worked out well. The album was streamed 250 million times in its first 10 days on the service, which would’ve placed it atop the charts if those numbers had been reported to Nielsen.

When it became available on all streaming services six weeks later, it surprisingly earned a top spot on the Billboard charts. Outside of Grammy week (if they win) or the holiday shopping period, this kind of second life is something very few albums achieve.Frank Ocean wanted to be part of the new revolution of music marketing and left Def Jam to explore this new method. He took an online/offline approach, distributing Blond exclusively on Apple Music as well as in pop-up shops in major cities across the globe, like New York and London. To become a differentiator, his album came with a 360-page glossy magazine. His distribution mix of independent record shops and exclusive streaming, combined with teasing exclusives on social media and the creation of a premium physical product exemplifies the evolving nature of music marketing, having a sales of about 276,000 in the first week and making what Forbes estimated to be $1 million in the album’s first week.


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