If you're on the internet, then you must have heard by now that Beyoncé released a new album on iTunes last night without any prior notice or inklings that she's even working on an album. Yeah, the internets were shooken last night so much that even BuzzFeed had to put together a list:
I think what this means, as the article alludes to, is that other major artists can really break the mold and get away from all of the steps usually taken before an album is released. This takes the idea of artists (and brands) directly connecting with their fans and takes it one step further...not only are they directly broadcasting their personal photos and activities on social media, they're directly delivering their product (music) to fans. They get to listen to it on their own and select the songs they like. They're not getting the biased takes of music marketing which selects the single and pushes it through Top 40 radio.
What Beyoncé is not as extreme as what some other artists like Coldplay and Nine Inch Nails have done since you can't just decide what to pay...you've gotta pay $15.99. It's also not as direct as what Louis CK and Aziz Ansari did when they released their stand-up acts for purchase directly from their own websites....you've still gotta go through iTunes for Beyoncé's release. However, I think this may be an appropriate channel. It definitely cuts out a lot of the middle-men, but artists can still rely on their labels for production work and the actual sales. None of it will ever come with the sort of surprise that Beyoncé hit the internet with last night, but artists will definitely be changing their business tunes very soon.