The other day, our Community Manager, Amanda, says to me, "Hey, Gray, did you hear about that thing Beyoncé did?" That "thing" she is referring to is Beyoncé's releasing her new self-titled album in the wee hours of last Friday morning. I had in fact heard of it (and have not stopped listening to the album since it came out.)
It's been a week and a few hours since the 'Bey Bomb' dropped, and what a week it's been. According to Reuters, Bey's album set a new iTunes record, selling 1 million copies worldwide and 617,000 in the U.S. By the time I'll post this, those numbers will probably be somewhere close to infinity - infinity copies sold. Not bad for someone who did absolutely no marketing for the album and told almost no one what she was planning - even her producer found out only an hour before it dropped!
Beyoncé's strategy was so successful because of the strength of her personal brand - being married to, and having a child with, Jay-Z, putting on one of the most amazing Super Bowl halftime shows, and a history of producing hits like 'Single Ladies,' all ensured her audience that her new album would be one of the best. It's also a little easier for word to travel fast when you have 53 million Facebook 'likes' and 8 million followers on Instagram. Can you say, "hashtag blessed?"
The former Destiny's Child member blew other pop juggernauts such as, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Justin Timberlake, out of the water. A physical copy will be coming out soon, which will boost her sales even more, when grandmothers start buying CDs for their granddaughters.
Years from now, people will look back on this day and ask one another, "where were you when Beyoncé stealthily dropped her album in the middle of the night?" I was actually sound asleep when it happened - I didn't think "Beyoncé" would be a good enough excuse for being late to work - now, if it was Pink, it might be a different story. Judging from the tweet explosion, however, a lot of people were fortunate enough to be those first ones to discover 14 songs and 17 accompanying videos magically appear on iTunes. And where was Beyoncé when her name was the only word on people's lips and tweets, around the world? Why, eating some vegan cupcakes, of course!