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Evaluating Beyonce Album Release

In: Business and Management

Submitted By shafrazSCM
Words 2094
Pages 9
With the rapid technological developments of information communication technology the entire world has been shifted to a new way of doing things. The internet based transactions has transformed all the business and way of communication. The people always in the business with social media such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc. and nowadays it is a must for marketer to market the product of service via these media.
The music industry has faced many changes in the last decade, music is enjoyed online, illegal downloading has become the norm and nothing surprises an audience anymore.

On 13th of December 2013, while in the middle of her North American tour, Beyonce fans were in for a surprise. The great musician Beyonce released her fifth, self-titled album without any prior publicity. She released her album via iTunes without any prior promotion ( A significant and potentially very risky , released from how music was traditionally released. The Apple , Facebook and Instagram are her major methods of reaching the audience. Throughout 2013 she had performed at Obama’s Presidential Inauguration and the Super Bowl Halftime Show as well as an endorsement deal as the face of Pepsi and appeared in advertisements. She was also the subject of a HBO documentary.

Beyonce thought of offering her new product in a totally different, innovative , timely fashion than she has followed previously and different to the competitors. When the grand launch happens it was release and offered exclusively on the iTunes store. With the collaboration of Sony Columbia Records physical manufacturing for CD’s began on the same day. The album was presented as a ‘visual album’, along with 14 new songs, 17 videos were also created. Everybody who worked on the album kept it secret throughout the process, so nothing was leaked or even implied before its release date. The album was initially supposed to be released on November 18th, though the accompanying videos were still being made, pushing the release date back to 13th of December 2013.
The Parkwood's General Manager, Lee Anne Callahan- Longo had few concerns and queries in his mind before their unusual strategy of album launch. The main concerns are, fears of possible technical glitches, the unusual plan for the release made it impossible to do a full-blown advertising campaign, how other retailers would respond, release would mean for international markets.
Main dynamics of music industry in the U.S.

In the US economy the total market share of music industry which covers both live and recorded music sales, was worth $15 billion in 2013. The largest segment at close to 60% of revenues from live music revenues. The trend of recorded music revenues from physical sales had been declining in recent years and it is only 15 % from total revenue. But the digital sales growing by 25% and the traditional trend is totally changed, recorded music revenues being overtaken by digital. In paid downloads - iTunes was the market leader in the US with an estimated share of close to 65%.In June 2013 , Apple had introduced a free , advertising- supported internet radio service which can compete with streaming sites such as spotify.
The iTunes dominant position in digital music is estimated around 40%. It allows consumers to download or stream individual songs rather than full albums.
Beyonce as an artist, a manager and a brand
The American female singer Beyoncé Knowles was able to become the one of the most successful artist in the globe within her 18 years of careers as an artist. "The most important and compelling popular musician of the twenty - first century" by the New Yorker in 2013.Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child, and rose to fame in the late 1990s as lead singer of Destiny's Child. Managed by her father, Mathew Knowles, the group became one of the world's best-selling girl groups of all time. As a solo artist she has visited many countries worldwide and her fans are from everywhere in the globe. Not only in dancing as a "modern-day feminist" she has all the capabilities to entertain her audience.
Because of her popularity it was easier for her to position herself as a world renowned brand. Whatever produced under the term “Beyonce” or called by nickname “Queen Bay” was well accepted by everyone in the globe. Because of the popularity of the brand "Beyonce" , she was performed in some global events such as President Barack Obama's 2013 inaugural ceremony, halftime show at the 2013 NFL super bowl and in many other events. The Parkwood head of worldwide marketing Jim Sabey one mentioned that "The goal was for the company to assume full control of Beyonce".Because of her popularity as a celebrity she appreared in many commercials. The world renowned brands such as L'Oreal, Tommy Hilfiger,Giorgio Armani and pepsir are endorsed by her.
From the childhood she had been managed by her father and after 14 years Beyonce established her own company , Parkwood entertainment. She recruited most suitable and capable people in positions execute her decisions. As a president and chief executive officer at Parkwood Entertainment, being a women she involved in all the activities of her company and praised by many senior level positions praised about her performance. Whenever she is free she walks to each business unit in office and talk to her employees and guide them , motivate them to produce quality output and meet her objectives. Because of her passion towards the music industry she had no fear in accepting challenges and always like to take risks as a most successful entrepreneur.
Beyonce Project and the album launching strategy

Due to the nature of the music industry and the level of secrecy of the campaign, specific, key objectives of the project were not available. But this project the Parkwood team with hidden agenda they expected key features in the new release such making the new release shocking, different and in line with the Beyonce brand. She decided to release the new album without any prior publicity. Many fans and industry experts were shocked, not only were users of social media sites talking about the album, music publications such as Billboard and Rolling Stone Magazine as well as leading news publications such as Forbes and the New York Times.

Beyonce used the album, and marketing opportunity to set herself differentiated from other co-artists. Many similar artist spend huge sum of money before they release the album. But the specialty of Beyonce’s album is she created the whole album and offered it as one piece. They added a music video for each and they have not done it before.

Against the normal conventions of an album release, the Beyonce and her team relied on two things to make this campaign success; word-of-mouth and the surprise. She had millions followers on Facebook and on Instagram she believed that they will help spread the message and make sure everyone knew about it.
The real excitement is given with the word “Surprise”. This was the caption for the 15 second Instagram video posted onto Beyonce’s page said announcing her fifth album was available to download.

The midnight release was exclusively given to iTunes, where the full package which includes songs and videos could be offered to the customer . Beyonce’s own management company , Parkwood Entertainment and record company Columbia met with Apple to discuss the deal. Once the album was announced by Beyoncé, advertising banners would dominate the homepage of the iTunes Store. Making the album exclusively digital would lower the risk of leaks.

Social Media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook particular were utilized for big reveal Facebook were main tools in the success of the campaign. Parkwood Entertainment went into talks with a delegated team from Facebook. Without knowing about the visual concept of the album Parkwood recommended that Facebook launch the “Auto Play” feature for videos on users’ new feeds.

After this initial release, there was a 72-hour turnaround planned to get the album into stores.
Physical copies of the album were put into production, the plain black slip cover with
“Beyonce” written in pink font in the middle, which could easily be assembled.


The Beyonce’s attempt of releasing it in a surprise way paid off.( Even though the given article did not talk about the sales figures, after this album release from some other secondary sources proves that it was a major success). Beyonce’s unusual and attention grabbing marketing strategy worked, news of the campaign extended further than the reach of Beyonce’s actual fan base. Many management schools analyze and teach this thought as a case study for the students. The approach is completely different, unusual other musicians may surprise with the approach. Beyonce and her team collaborated with some vital companies to reach the audience in the globe.

On December 13, 2013, without a preceding marketing campaign, Beyonce Knowles released the visual album with 14 songs , 17 videos on iTunes. She and her company Parkwood used unconventional and totally new marketing strategy. In this launch we can identify some key characteristics. The approach is totally unique and they wanted to do something unique compared to other musicians. Every song she produced a video to attract the audience. No marketing tactic can sell a product if the quality isn’t there. So before you even think about social media, content marketing, or a newsletter, evaluate the offering you’re selling to see if it’s actually something people will love.

Then the team she had is a main reason for her major success. Beyonce couldn’t have created this impact without a great team behind her. They kept this as a secret and the channel she used to announce is a major reason success. Without a traditional press release, press conference or TV event the surprise album came through a 15-second video on Beyonce’s Instagram account. The release didn’t give much time to think. This is a huge practice by brands like Apple. The Apple only announces their new phones a few days or a couple of weeks before actually releasing them to the public. This allows for demand to increase, without any time for the consumer to actually sit down and carefully think about the decision they are about to make.

As I recommend, to sustain in the business in the long run with this great artist they want to practice what they follow currently and continuously be innovative. The theme ‘Surprsie’ worked for them to successfully launch the product. For marketers, this is a reminder to not play by the rules all the time. People would like to be surprised. The tactics practiced today may be working, but what are you doing to keep things interesting for your target audience is vital. The team Parkwood can established a department called “Research and Development “ or “ Innovations”. Next time launch should be totally new approach than the current approach.

The team can be further strengthened by using some new job roles. They hired an unusual role archivist who is in charge of collecting Beyonce's photos, videos and audio tracks. Similar to that they can hire a person who competent in search engine optimizing. The country to country marketing approaches are different and under head of global marketing they could recruit regional marketing heads. It allows them to customize the marketing approaches specific to the country.

They can develop a social enterprise network which unique to the Beyonce’s fan base. This will be different to the existing social media such as facebook and unique to the specific interest groups. The audience in all around the world will be connected via Beyonce’s own social enterprise network. Whenever she want to make an announcement this will be the ideal place to spread the word of mouth.

The Parkwood can have strategic alliances with some other strategic partners in the field of music industry and with popular web related companies such as google. With the support of these companies diversified opportunities can be seek and the company will get new channels of communication. With years to go with the age of Beyonce the popularity may change and sometimes it may not possible to generate revenues from her own performance. Parkwood can think about different income sources to sustain in the business in long run. Organizing musical concerts and related events in any country, providing audio & visuals for the tracks of new artists , providing digital and other marketing for artists and events are some of the possible business opportunities.…...

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The Release

...The Release Every time I close my eyes I see those faces, their faces. Twisted with pain, eye’s begging, mouths open, yet no words coming out. Their expressions were pleading for mercy. Their eyes blacked and their faces darkened as their bodies went limp and fell to the floor. I watched my mother, father, and brother’s horrible murders. They were shown no mercy. When they finished with my brother they turned to me. I was prepared to die. Only death didn’t come. Instead, they tied me to a chair in the corner, deciding fifteen was too young to die. I sat there for thirty hours, staring at the lifeless bodies of my family, to horrified to scream for help, to scared to breathe, ready to wake up from this nightmare like reality. It was raining when the police escorted me out of my house, and into the police car. I couldn’t feel the rain hit me, I couldn’t feel anything. The raindrops hit the window, streaming down the window. I don’t know how long I sat there, time no-longer mattered. Nothing mattered anymore. I was alone. I watched police officers carry three body bags out of my house. The sight made me cringe. My face felt wet, I reached up and discovered I was crying. Before I knew it I was crying so hard I couldn’t stop, my body was heaving up and down so ferociously I thought it might actually kill me. Someone opened the car door, and I fell to the ground. I started gagging from crying so hard, my hair was getting wet and clinging to my face, but I hardly......

Words: 976 - Pages: 4

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