Beyonce started it. D’Angelo followed, although some of us missed that. U2 just showed up in our iTunes library, they could have kept that one. And now Kendrick with Untitled Unmastered. Is this what we have to expect from the music industry?
This new strategy continues to succeed for top artists, because everyone wants to be in on a secret. Everyone wants to be the first to know the latest news. No one likes to feel left out. How many times have artist “leaked” a track or mixtape and we run to our computers to download? We want to be the cool kids with the latest releases, which is why this model works.
However, it seems as though this method of releasing music works best for two kinds of artists. It works when the artists has a huge, committed fan base, stans if you will. Hence, why Beyonce’s release was a success, she had the beyhive behind her. Second, this model is perfect for rappers. Rap fans have been listening to leaked albums, tracks, and mixtapes since the beginning of the internet. This isn’t anything new. Now, when Taylor Swift or ColdPlay stop announcing release dates, then the model has officially become the new normal.
Soon fans will stop paying attention to release dates and expect albums to drop unexpectedly. Once something becomes normal, it loses it’s cool factor.