The Beyonce Effect

Beyonce. Lorde. Frank Ocean.  These are just a few of the recent artists that seem to have mastered the art of surprising their fans with unannounced music releases. Contrary to the traditional marketing schedule containing press tours and promotions months before the release of EPs or albums, some larger artists have taken to ignoring these social norms for a new form of guerilla marketing.

Before the modern music stars took to this release technique, there was In Rainbow from Radiohead. In 2007, they surprised fans with the first album to be released with no prior promotion. Without marketing aid or a label, the band ended up selling 3 million copies worldwide. 

But is this new form of marketing successful? Why don’t we ask Beyonce’s album Lemonade, which topped over 20 charts and made well over 1 million dollars in sales. The success of music in part comes from the quality and following of said music, but also largely relies on marketing or the lack of marketing effort. As many have claimed, this campaign strategy is much more successful with those who have an established fanbase. In fact, even up-and-coming artists who have attempted this strategy have found marginal success.

Overall, the question remains whether this is a sign the industry is changing, or if the strategy is just a fad.

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