With the release of her fifth album, Beyoncé has upended the music business.
Things will never be the same.
With no advance marketing, no lead-up single or video, Beyoncé simply announced on Instagram last Thursday at midnight that her new album was available at iTunes.
The album sold 365,000 copies the first day of release, according to the New York Times, and then the album broke the iTunes sales record when it proceeded to sell 617,000 over the first three days of release. The previous top seller was Taylor Swift’s Red, which sold 465,000 in the week ending Oct. 28, 2012.
Although Beyoncé is signed to a traditional record company, Columbia, her success at going directly to her fans paves the way for artists to seriously consider why they need to sign with a label (and share their recording revenue) when with the held of a good manager they could do it all themselves.
Does Bruce Springsteen really need Columbia at this point in his career? Does U2 need a label?
Recently the Throwing Muses released an album, Purgatory/ Paradise on their own and they seem to be doing just fine.
Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices fame has been releasing his own records for many years.
For more on the Beyoncé story, head to the New York Times.
Some videos from the new album:
Plus a live version of “XO,” which is on the new album.
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