A bright lead single ready for the radio. The album title and release date are getting a lot of attention. A Magazine cover storyFollowed by a personal mission statement, a new social media account, a detailed track list, and pre-sale of products.
For most musicians, these are old-fashioned bullet points in the playbook to showcase their major new albums. But for Beyonce, who has overturned all the conventions about how to market music for the past decade or more, the rollout of her latest album, Renaissance, due out on Friday, is a remarkable change, perhaps implicitly changing the game. I admit to. ..
At “4” in 2011, when the singer last participated in such an industry-standard baby step before Beyonce’s seventh solo studio album, “Renaissance,” President Barack Obama was still in his first semester. Was just arriving in the United States, which was a European music startup called Spotify. Since then, there hasn’t been much formula for selling new music that Beyonce hasn’t adjusted, confused, or dismantled at all.
Was first “Beyonce,” A surprise “visual album” of the paradigm shift from 2013. After that, “Lemonade” (2016) appeared. Arrived It has more mysteries as a cable TV movie. Beyonce seeks out ambitious multimedia projects one after another by working closely with her husband Jay-Z’s streaming service Tidal and media giants such as HBO, Disney and Netflix. It is positioned as something to be considered carefully. Than offered for easy access and maximum consumption.
The work and the innovative methods she released helped Beyonce’s artistic status soar. Still, it helped keep her singer somewhat out of the mainstream of pop music and silo her material. The “Lemonade” album wasn’t widely available on major streaming platforms until three years after her first release, but now a full movie is available. Only in Tidal — and potentially interfere with her commercial performance.
Beyonce’s final single as a lead artist, “Single Ladies (Put Alling On It),” was released in late 2008. She hasn’t won a trophy, even though her 28 Grammy Awards make her the best woman in her music. The radio play of her new solo release has dropped significantly since “4”. Her six solo albums were all number one, but “Everything Is Love” ( Surprise joint album With Jay-Z), “The Lion King” soundtrack And her concert album “Homecoming” Each could not reach the top.
Still, Beyonce’s paradox means that even if she slips a bit on the charts, her greater cultural fame remains the best, driven by the mystery and grandeur she brings to each project. Did. (“I can’t quantify my success,” she rapped “Nice” from 2018 and ridiculed the importance of her “streaming number.”)
“She remains a cultural leader, regardless of the relatively minor data points in her world, such as selling albums and playing radio.” Daniel smithWith a veteran music journalist Recent author “Shine Bright: A very personal history of pop black women.”
“There are people in this world to change culture and change the mood,” she said in an interview. “Singles, albums, radioplay, etc. are important to some extent, but what really matters is that they take us in a new direction.”
However, from the beginning, the development of the “Renaissance” was different, more transparent and more conventional. Beyonce, 40 years old, Instagram post Last month, as “a place not to think too much about perfectionism,” the album was positioned for mass consumer awareness and fan excitement, with four different box sets and a limited edition vinyl version already on the singer’s website. Sold out at.
Rob Jonas, CEO of Luminate, the music data service behind the Billboard charts, said:
One of the big risks of the old-fashioned release strategy of having to make a physical copy of the album much in advance occurred on Wednesday when the “Renaissance” seemed to be leaked completely online.Social media fan account Guess The early unofficial version may have come from a CD that was sold prematurely in Europe.
Soon, Beyonce’s famous conservation base, known as BeyHive, took action and sought to discourage early hearing and unity to report those who were spreading pirated copies.
Pre-leakage of major albums was common, as the CD era could be replaced by digital downloads and disrupt the outlook for new albums, but crackdowns on digital piracy and the move to streaming-first models , Increased significantly with surprise releases like Beyonce. Reduced that threat.
Beyonce’s last major leak was in 2011 at “4”. She told the listener“This isn’t the way I wanted to release a new song, but I’m grateful for the positive response from the fans.” (Beyonce and her label representative commented on her release strategy. I refused and didn’t immediately answer the question about the leak.)
Behind the scenes, the luxury of prior notice — Hallelujah! — Early promotional singles can provide gatekeepers in industries such as radio stations and streaming services with a runway to participate before the album’s release.
“It’s a gift to have something before you drop it,” said Michael Martin, senior vice president of programming at Audacy, which operates more than 230 radio stations nationwide. “If you have the time to prepare, you can be a better marketing partner with artists, labels and management. The moment your project reaches the ecosystem, you’ll be ready to push everything. Is what you want. I don’t want to scramble. “
“”Break my soulA return to dance music in the 1990s, the first single of “Renaissance” was released over a month ago. According to Luminate, the song currently ranks 7th on the Billboard Hot 100 with 57 million streams and 61,000 radio spins in the United States. It has been at its peak so far, and Beyonce is the third in the top 10 in the last decade. As a principal artist. (Her latest chart topper was “Perfect Duet” with Ed Sheeran in 2017 and “Savage Remix” with Megan Thee Stallion in 2020 as guests.)
But like most of Beyonce, commercials and artistics work together. According to Smith, the preparation for the release of “Renaissance” was in line with the teased vintage touchstone.For example, special attention was paid to the elaborate vinyl packaging of the album, and again Big tent pop release fixture..
“The rollout became meaningful to me when I realized that Beyonce was back a bit with her sound and hints, both musically and artistically,” Smith said. “It’s all very meta.”
Another important recent development is Beyonce’s Arrive at TikTokIt has been home to bite-sized shareable video, one of the most trusted drivers of music hits for at least three years, and is also a popular hype platform for young stars such as Lizzo and Cardi B.
This month, Beyonce’s official account posted the first TikToks. Fan montages, including Cardi, danced to “Break My Soul,” followed by vinyl artwork for “Renaissance.” The singer recently made her. Whole music catalog It can be used to score user-created videos on the platform.
Luminate’s Jonas states that short videos promote “massive awareness and downstream consumption.” “We have a clear outlook on that.” Even before she joined, Beyonce said “Savage Remix” and “Yonse” Prospered on TikTok.
Whether or not a brief release of “Renaissance” represents Beyonce’s return to full pop domination, it’s still possible that she has more work to do. After all, the album has been teased by the singer as “Act I”, indicating that it may only be part of a larger project.
“It all feels a little too much, as she’s playing according to the rules now,” Jonas said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a twist we hadn’t noticed yet.”
According to Smith, some of Beyonce’s cultural proficiency includes the ability to rareize herself at one moment and become the center of everything again when she chooses. “At this point, she allows others her air, but it’s her whims, as she thinks she’s right,” Smith said. “Her overall influence-her way of moving, what she wears-is unmatched.”
She added: She said, “When Beyonce woke up and she was 42, 45, or 50, she wanted to dominate the culture at every data point. When When shocked, she was able to do it, like the previous shale, like the previous Tina Turner, without really sweating. “