Even before the advent of streaming, musicians rewrote the promotional playbook and delighted their fans with surprise albums. From the overnight drop to calculated partnerships, artists are no longer reliant on the traditional method of an album roll-out life cycle. Radiohead not only disrupted the traditional album rollout, they completely changed the way artists distributed their music. In Rainbows not only set a precedent for album releases but marked a new era for the band following their departure from EMI.
Two months following the release, the band dropped a second In Rainbows disc featuring eight new tracks. The project was labelled as a rush-release without any promotion, drumming up even more curiosity. But it was all for nought.
For an icon of his status to pull of such a feat was unheard of. Even the president of his record label only caught wind of The Next Day a month before its release. When the album did materialise on iTunes, at 5am, on 8 March , it proved that Bowie was still capable of challenging both listeners and himself. Her last three records were surprise albums dropped overnight, starting with her self-titled opus, in , followed by Lemonade and then Everything Is Love recorded as The Carters, with her husband, Jay Z.
During the NBA Finals, Jay Z appeared in a Samsung commercial announcing his new album and offered the first million fans a free copy of it if they downloaded the Magna Carta app on their Samsung smartphones. As part of their Apple Watch and iPhone 6 announcement, Apple also inked a deal with the band to make their new album, Songs Of Innocence — their first in five years — free to Apple customers — all million of them.
In , Drake ruled the rap game, still riding high from his previous release, Nothing Was The Same. He then released a short film called Jungle , which featured snippets of unreleased music, and, by midnight, the official mixtape arrived on streaming services, paving the way for another Drake mixtape in the future.
Dressed in Black Panther attire, the pop megastar whipped both fans and the NFL into a frenzy over her Super Bowl performance and the announcement for her upcoming tour.
Following a vague teaser trailer, HBO premiered an hour-long, conceptual short film based around the music of Lemonade , and the album appeared on Tidal exclusively. The younger Knowles sister also knows a thing or two about surprise albums and grand artistic statements. In the eight years following her previous release, Solange had launched her own record label and started working with more experimental artists like Dev Hynes aka Blood Orange on her EP, True.
Fans had been conditioned to expect a new album from Rihanna each year, so, after several years of silence, when she finally delivered three new singles and album details in , the internet went wild.
As a mea culpa, Samsung released a million free downloads as a part of a deal, causing Anti to be the fastest platinum-certified album by RIAA. Following his debut, Frank Ocean would continue with his streak of mysterious surprise albums. On 1 August, Apple Music featured a promo of Ocean building a structure and playing instruments on loop. On 19 August, his musical film Endless was released on Apple Music. Clearly the tactic paid off each time, and KOD notching him his fifth No. After the August release of Sweetener , Ariana Grande suffered a tragic personal loss with the sudden death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller.
Talks of touring and new album were nixed, but she later decamped to New York to record with a few of her longtime collaborators. At first it seemed that Grande was eschewing the typical album roll-out and just releasing singles instead, but then thank u, next dropped in February less than six months after Sweetener and continued her chart domination. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Search uDiscover Music.
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