This past Friday, on December 13th, Beyoncé released her 5th studio album, the self-titled, Beyoncé. “Apple said Monday that the album sold 617,213 in its U.S. iTunes Store. It sold 828,773 internationally.” While these figures alone are staggering, the way in which she went about promoting, releasing, and keeping the album a secret are even more impressive. Beyoncé and Sony didn’t speak a word of the album’s release date leading up to December 13th. At midnight on the 13th, Bey took to Twitter to announce that her album had arrived, and was available that same day. Once the announcement was made, the news spread around the world like wildfire. The album was made available exclusively through iTunes “…only at full price ($15.99) as a full album download.” The fact that she made the release available as a full album download only, emphasizes the importance of the album as a single, cohesive unit, rather than just a collection of multiple singles. Beyoncé is an international superstar and the same tactics won’t work for most, but her and Sony’s use of viral marketing brings light to the fact that in the digital age of over-information, sometimes less is a more effective strategy and can make for a bolder statement.Here at Altavoz, we believe that since the music industry is ever-changing due to new technology and media platforms, promotional strategies must be re-created regularly in order to remain effective and relevant. We join Beyoncé and her fans in congratulating her on a wildly successful 5th album release, and a more than impressive marketing strategy.
Young guitar master Quinn Sullivan’s new album Getting There dropped yesterdayandis available nationwide! Currently, the album is for sale in more than 80 independent music retailers across 26 states and FYE nationwide. Click here for a sample map of U.S. retailers carrying GETTING THERE. If your favorite record store does not have the album, urge them to order copies! You can also alert Altavoz that your store needs the CD by tweeting #QSGT #BuyingThis #zip — make sure to enter in YOUR OWN zip code, not the word ZIP! Shout-out to Buddy Guy and The Rolling Stones for their support on Twitter!!
Myspace HD Steaming of Jimmy Kimmel Live!
by Ellen Gillingham
With the recent relaunch of Myspace and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the two are working together to bring the show’s extended musical performances to a wider audience.
Starting June 18, certain artists will have an opportunity to have their outdoor concert series livestreamed in HD on Myspace. Empire of the Sun will be the first band to capitalize on Myspace and Jimmy Kimmel‘s partnership, performing songs from Ice On The Dune, their first album in nearly five years.
Fans can watch the live performances beginning Tuesday night on Myspace. Jimmy Kimmel Live has a great track record of recognizing new and emerging talent. This will be a great opportunity for any new artists, if Myspace’s new campaign is successful.
Siri? WHAT IS RADIO REIMAGINED?
by Sarah Grin
If all else fails, you can always count on Apple to have what you need (or want). Apple launched the all new iTunes Radio music streaming app at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference on June 10th, 2013.
The application allows users to create personal radio stations based on prior iTunes purchases, and favorite artists and songs. Simply pick one song and build an entire station around it! Additionally, after creating the stations, users can adjust the stream according to what they like.
Furthermore, similar to Amazon’s one-click-to-buy feature, the new iTunes app offers a one-click option to purchase songs. People will also be able to share songs with friends and see popular songs trending on Twitter.
And that’s not all! The application is Siri accessible! No matter what you are doing, just ask Siri to play specific songs, genres or artists and you get it right at your fingertips. If you happen to like a specific song or you want to know the artist, simply tell Siri that you want more songs like this or that you want to know the artist and VOILA!
And if you think that is all the application has to offer, you are most definitely wrong! iTunes Radio has exclusive rights to certain songs long before any other station or application can play it. It may be tracks from up-and-coming bands or major artists’ pre-releases, but either way, iTunes Radio users get it first!
Subscription to the app is free with advertisements. However, for an annual fee of $25, users can subscribe to iTunes Match for commercial-free radio. iTunes Match keeps all your music in your cloud, including those not purchased through iTunes!
The app will be available this fall for iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac and Apple TV.
THE GRAMMAR OF METADATA
by Ellen Gillingham and Claire Wolfe
Everyone learned English grammar rules in grade school. However, as we see in the music industry, these rules are sometimes broken when artists take creative liberties in naming albums and songs. It is not uncommon for artists to intentionally misspell words, use slang that did not exist ten or twenty years ago, and insert a “z” where proper English would dictate the use of an “s”.
As a result of misspelled and artistically creative song titles, fans are sometimes unable to find the music they are looking for while others buy the wrong songs. Moreover, misidentified tracks have caused performers and songwriters difficulties when collecting royalties.
Last month, the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) released its Music Metadata Style Guide to help minimize such troubles. To make sure content can be “easily discovered, correctly presented, and accurately disclosed,” the Guide warns against some seemingly harmless faults that are actually so serious they could cause online merchants to “reject the content.”
According to Hannah Karp of Wall Street Journal in an article entitled “Grammar Rocks: These New Punctuation Rules are fo’ Realz”, the aim of the new rule book is “to establish basic rules for data entry in the fragmenting world of music, where some folks have become a little too creative for their own good – at least when it comes to spelling, grammar, and description.”
Time will tell whether the music industry steps in line with NARM’s Style Guide, but the question must be asked: isn’t this what music is all about, creativity, freedom, and, when necessary, rule-breaking?
We cannot express how stoked we are to see our newest album, GoldenHeart by Dawn Richard, debut on Billboard’s Top 10 R&B Albums and 22nd on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums! To top that, GoldenHeart is #2 on Billboard’s HeatSeekers Albums.
This amazing accomplishment is the culmination of months of hard work and countless leaps of faith. In just the first week of her album release tour, Ms. Richard went from New York City and Philly to Atlanta and Vienna, Austria to promote her first ever solo LP. Her schedule has been non-stop: SOBs for her album release concert, interviews with Hot97, Sway in the Morning, Glamour, JET (tip of iceberg), the famous J&R for an in-store performance and signing, then FYE for Philadelphia and DBS Sounds in Atlanta for CD signings. Before the month’s end, she will find her way back home to NoLa where she’ll pay a visit to Clear Channel’s Uptown Angela, Xavier University, and the legendary Peaches Record Store. Did I mention GoldenHeart premiered at the top of iTunes-R&B/Soul Chart? Or that she’s the #2 New Artist on Nielsen SoundScan? That did just happen.
What a great testament to the power of Independent Artists taking control of their careers and obtaining direct distribution to their fans. GoldenHeart has broken new ground for Hip-Hop, R&B, Soul, and EDM in the world of independent distribution. (Re: Vibe, SPIN, LA Times, Huffington Post, stupidDOPE, and The Guardian)
We here at Altavoz Distribution congratulate Dawn, Druski, and Our Dawn Entertainment for this awesome accomplishment. Blood, sweat, and tears really do pay off. Like the philosophers Nas and Puff Daddy proclaimed back in 1999, they can hate us now, but we won’t stop now.
Insert Shameless Sales plug here: Buy your Physical Copies (HERE and HERE)!!