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Beyoncé Skips Streaming Entirely and Releases an iTunes-Only ‘Visual Album’…

Update 2, 12/16 10 am: iTunes has just confirmed sales of 828,773 units (US + UK) after just three days (we’ll await further data from the source).  That’s an iTunes Store record (the iTunes Music Store started in 2003).  It also easily beats Beyonce’s entire first-week performance on her last album, 4, by a factor of nearly 3X.  The original story, which first appeared Friday morning, follows:

Sorry to anyone else who was looking to get iTunes Store visibility…

Screen shot 2013-12-12 at 11.33.01 PM

Some opt for multi-million dollar promo campaigns, but Beyoncé is letting hype do the job.  Part one of her self-titled visual album silently went up on iTunes early Friday morning.  Beyonce blasted the release to her followers on platforms like Instagram and Twitter, part of a campaign that focused on direct-to-fan alerts but little else.

Each track on the album has been released as a music video; there are 14 songs and 17 videos in total. These videos are exclusive to iTunes and are only available as an album purchase for $15.99.  Individual songs will be available late December.

Screen shot 2013-12-12 at 11.33.55 PM

In a video posted on Facebook Beyoncé said:

“I feel like right now people experience music differently. I remember seeing Thriller on TV with my family. It was an event. We all sat around the TV and now looking back I’m so lucky I was born around that time. I miss that immersive experience.

Now people only listen to a few segments of a song on their iPods, they don’t really invest in a whole album. It’s all about the single and the hype. It’s so much that gets between the music and the artist and the fans.”

Beyoncé isn’t the first contemporary artist to tackle the visual album. However, her popularity could set a trend of more immersive album experiences and bundled releases.  It may also encourage other artists to window their album releases, a strategy that typically leaves streaming platforms like Spotify waiting.

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Comments (90)
  1. Anonymous

    Now, that’s news!

    Not only boycotting Spotify, but also YouTube!


    Reply
    1. Me

      Has she stated anywhere that she’s specifically boycotting streaming? This is a “visual album,” and Spotify just doesn’t have the capabilities to release a visual album.


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        Which part of exclusively on iTunes did you miss?


        Reply
        1. Casey

          It’s exclusive, that doesn’t mean boycotting. Eventually it will be rolled out to other retailers and probably the streaming services in the form of regular tracks.


          Reply
          1. Anonymous

            “It’s exclusive, that doesn’t mean boycotting”

            Uh yes, that’s exactly what it means.

            First week is everything. Especially at this time of year…


            Reply
            1. Casey

              If she were worried about selling a lot of albums in the first week, she would have given it much more publicity prior to the release.


              Reply
              1. Anonymous

                “If she were worried about selling a lot of albums in the first week, she would have given it much more publicity prior to the release”

                Everybody worries about first week, and her streaming boycott is a huuuge success:

                Her album is now Apple’s top seller in the 10 biggest markets including the U.S., Japan and U.K., according to Bloomberg who quotes Apple’s Tom Neumayr, it is in the headliines in all media, and it generated 1.2 million tweets the first 12 hours. (I’m not posting any links because dmn’s spam filter doesn’t like them.)


                Reply
                1. Casey

                  Hasn’t every album she has released been a top seller, despite being on streaming?


                  Reply
                  1. Anonymous

                    No one knows how things would’ve turned out in a streaming scenario. But I’ve rarely seen a reception like this.

                    Imagine you’re an artist: Would you risk your bullet, your first week, by giving it all away for free — after seeing this?

                    Think twice before you answer. People often have to live a year, or more, for what they make during that week…


                    Reply
    2. PiratesWinLOL

      It’s not very interesting at all, considering that it is just some silly arty-farty project, which very few will care about. I’ll be interested if she decide to actually boycutt streaming (and the majority of her fans) by removing her actual albums from Spotify etc.


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        “just some silly arty-farty project, which very few will care about”

        Let’s see…

        80,000 albums sold the first three hours! :)

        1.2 million tweets generated the first 12 hours! :)

        Plus this:
        http://www.buzzfeed.com/mattbellassai/the-best-of-the-internets-reaction-to-beyonces-new-album
        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-13/beyonce-s-surprise-album-tops-apple-itunes-charts.html
        http://www.forbes.com/sites/zackomalleygreenburg/2013/12/13/beyonces-surprise-album-could-help-make-2014-her-most-lucrative-year-yet/
        http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/beyonce-breakdown-the-ultimate-guide-to-beys-surprise-new-album-20131213
        mashable.com/2013/12/13/beyonce-album-videos-tweets-stats/
        http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/dec/13/beyonce-beyonce-review
        http://www.billboard.com/articles/review/5839712/beyonce-beyonce-track-by-track-review


        Reply
      2. Anonymous

        “just some silly arty-farty project, which very few will care about”

        Let’s see…

        80,000 albums sold the first three hours! :)

        1.2 million tweets generated the first 12 hours! :)

        Plus this:
        http://www.buzzfeed.com/mattbellassai/the-best-of-the-internets-reaction-to-beyonces-new-album
        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-13/beyonce-s-surprise-album-tops-apple-itunes-charts.html
        http://www.forbes.com/sites/zackomalleygreenburg/2013/12/13/beyonces-surprise-album-could-help-make-2014-her-most-lucrative-year-yet/
        http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/beyonce-breakdown-the-ultimate-guide-to-beys-surprise-new-album-20131213
        mashable.com/2013/12/13/beyonce-album-videos-tweets-stats/
        http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/dec/13/beyonce-beyonce-review
        http://www.billboard.com/articles/review/5839712/beyonce-beyonce-track-by-track-review


        Reply
    3. TuneHunter

      If you invest some time, by now, you should find it on YouTube!


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        Complete songs from the new album?

        I’ve only seen previews so far.


        Reply
  2. ben

    “but Beyoncé is letting hype do the job”

    what hype? there is no hype. only mags like yours create a “fake-hype” around this shitty release.

    “Each track on the album has been released as a music video”

    crap videos.


    Reply
      1. Anonymous

        The album was also spammed all over the iTunes Store, and it’s an album from one of the most famous artists in the world. Come on, it’s not surprising at all that it would sell.


        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          “it’s not surprising at all that it would sell”

          And yet, it surprised everybody (except you) that it sold 430,000 the first day — without any streaming. :)


          Reply
  3. Anonymous

    No singles, no streaming, no leaks. We need a full report on the results.

    Another thing, dmn: Please fix your comments section; it takes up to 24 hours for messages to appear.


    Reply
    1. Paul Resnikoff

      We ARE working on this; I’ll give you the standard ‘we regret any inconvenience’ but we’re refining and working through the issues (we just switched platforms earlier). But as one of the largest sites on the planet, we have to spend a lot of time managing an all-out deluge/avalanche of spam BS attacks, which includes our comment board.


      Reply
      1. Ted

        One of the largest sites on the planet?

        Tune Hunter is Bono too.


        Reply
        1. Paul Resnikoff

          Yes, we are. Look at the stats.


          Reply
      2. Anonymous

        “we’re refining and working through the issues”

        Thank you, Paul!

        I hope you’ll forgive the occasional double post in the meantime, as it can be tricky to figure out whether a message is going to show up eventually.


        Reply
      3. Anonymous

        “We ARE working on this”

        You probably know this already, but comments with links/code seem to trigger your filters.


        Reply
        1. Paul Resnikoff

          That’s by design. We’ve been experimenting with a few methods to block spam (instead of just forcing CAPTCHA to make it easier for users). One identifier of spam is that it usually has a link to some bogus site, promoting knock-off goods or whatever. So we’ve been quarantining those, for inspection/approval later, which is causing the delay.


          Reply
          1. Anonymous

            OK, so links mean manual work for you guys.

            How about white-listing the 50 most popular music- and news sites?


            Reply
    2. Anonymous

      Results so far:

      80,000 sold albums in three hours, according to Billboard.

      Without any streaming.


      Reply
  4. Mike

    Music? This is not music. This is white noise, compressed and limited to death.


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Too bad people love it, eh? :)


      Reply
      1. PiratesWinLOL

        Indeed, it is about time that we sink that ship, considering how it is affecting people. Hoist the flag and man the guns!!


        Reply
  5. Jabsco

    Best album marketing campaign of the year. “I am fucking Beyonce.”


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      “Best album marketing campaign of the year.”

      I can’t figure out if it’s the best or the worst. If you look at her YouTube channel, the previews don’t get much attention, and that’s usually a good parameter.

      But perhaps iTunes numbes will tell another story.

      “I am fucking Beyonce.”

      Good for you. :)


      Reply
    2. PiratesWinLOL

      Well, what can I say, maybe you are right. Different people different tastes. :S


      Reply
  6. Casey

    So being videos, does that mean the entire album is protected by DRM? If so, that’s kind of a nasty move. Charge $16 for an album, then deny the buyer from being able to play it on other devices like Android tablets.


    Reply
    1. Central Scrutinizer

      I was thinking the same thing.

      There are technical and legal reasons why someone would release a motion picture instead of a sound recording.

      Her legal team, accountants and technical advisors must have come to the conclusion that releasing sounds accompanying a motion picture is easier to license, control and monetize than releasing a sound recording.


      Reply
    2. hippydog

      its the same as other itunes music videos, playable on any device..


      Reply
  7. Yep

    This takes the industry right back to the good old days of the £16 CD’s! It was certainly great for the major record companies. The reaction to that was the original Napster. Sure, she will have made a bucket of cash this week but in the long run, it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth and will just propel people to Spotify and similar great value services (that will eventually pay the artists and the labels a lot more than was made from this release)


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      “Spotify and similar great value services (that will eventually pay the artists and the labels a lot more than was made from this release”

      Um, Mrs. Carter boycotted Spotify and sold 80,000 albums in three hours!

      How many YEARS would it take for Spotify to pay her what iTunes paid last night? :)


      Reply
      1. PiratesWinLOL

        Disconnecting from fans can be expensive. It’s not recorded music she makes the most of her money from.


        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          “Disconnecting from fans can be expensive”

          Selling 430,000 albums the first day is disconnecting from fans? :)


          Reply
          1. PiratesWinLOL

            If she actually did choose to reject streaming, over time she would end up being forgotten by a lot of people. Actually it would end up being the vast majority, and her income from better sources such as concerts would dry up. It is not like there is such a small amount of artists, wanting the attention. Just ask Led Zeppelin if rejecting Spotify makes sense in the long run. Obviously that won’t happend though, because she is not an idiot, and within a reasonable time frame, I am sure that even this album will be available on the various streaming services.


            Reply
            1. Anonymous

              “she would end up being forgotten by a lot of people”

              I’m sure she’s worried about that, lol


              Reply
              1. PiratesWinLOL

                I am sure about that too. The fact that all her previous albums is still on the streaming services, and the fact that the new one will just arrive a bit later, actually makes it clear that she know the way things are going. This is just a little sideshow and the fact that even the stubborn old dinosaurs from Led Zeppelin has accepted reality, is much more important.


                Reply
                1. Anonymous

                  “I am sure about that too”

                  But of course… just like you was sure that her EXTREMELY popular new album was “just some silly arty-farty project, which very few will care about” :)

                  Have you considered changing your user name to ArtistsWinBOOHOO?


                  Reply
    2. Bandit

      Except in this case when you listen to the music without the visuals you realize the music is crap so you go back and by the video


      Reply
  8. late 10 years~

    Most indie artists release digital-only albums for almost a decade now. Beyonce is late. But blogs love sensational bullshit.


    Reply
    1. Darryl

      Stretch. The last 3 years maybe, 10 years ago was 2004, which is when cd’s were 90% sales of the industry.


      Reply
  9. 556

    Reply
  10. Anonymous

    Not gonna stream, Beyonce? No worries, I’ll just torrent your “visual album”. I can play that game too.


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Hm, it seems that all the new laws against thieves like you begin to work:

      Beyoncé’s album sold more than 430,000 copies the first day. Compare that to her previous album that sold 310,000 copies the first — week.

      Die streaming, die! Die pirates, die! :) :) :)


      Reply
  11. Garth Soshahi, CEO- AAMPP

    As many have stated, Beyoncé is not the first to introduce a visual musical release, but please keep in mind that Beyoncé is already a [Music sensation and a Media darling]. She has done a great job of staying out of career killing controversy and she’s a positive roll model for children and young women around the world.

    And as she stated, about her experience of watching Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” for the first time. I can attest to remembering that experience that I had never felt before, it was as if my heart was overwhelmed with joy and Beyoncé has struck that same chord with her fans, by releasing – {Beyoncé – Exclusive Visual Album}; just stop and take stock of all of the amazing results her approach has garnered.

    Beyoncé didn’t take a gamble, she knew that the world would embrace this new album and do the job of marketing it for her; we have always been marketers for brands in some fashion. And Beyoncé is no exception, make no mistake “Beyoncé is a brand” and we are her non-multi-million-dollar marketers.

    The news channels, news papers, radio stations and each and everyone of us who Blogs, Tweet, Update, Post, Commentate or Shout on AAMPP are doing the Job just nicely. Millions saved/Millions earned.

    In closing – Jay Z has successfully pulled off a game changer with the Samsung deal and Beyoncé has released, what is turning out to be an amazing visual music experience. Michael Jackson would’ve been very proud.


    Reply
  12. FarePlay

    Well it appears we have 2 camps.

    1. Unlimited Streaming is the future of music and we just need to “trust” they’ll figure out a way to make it work for artists.

    2. Unlimited Streaming is an unworkable solution, that destroys the sale of recorded music and with that the ability of most artists to survive.


    Reply
    1. FarePlay

      Oh, sorry, then there’s the piracy guy or gal. Don’t want to leave them out.


      Reply
    2. Anonymous

      Good to see that you use the term ‘unlimited streaming’. Because this is not a black and white sceanario.

      OK, unlimited streaming is probably a thing of the past. We now know for sure that boycotting Spotify and YouTube doesn’t alienate fans at all. So there’s no reason to give music away for free anymore.

      But limited streaming is very interesting. YouTube’s free service, for instance, is wonderful for previews, interviews and behind-the-scenes content:

      It makes a lot of buzz, it makes money, it’s a great service for fans and it doesn’t cannibalize sales at all.


      Reply
  13. FarePlay

    I’m just not seeing an alternative for artists to earn a living unless we support the sale of recorded music. Streaming revenue will never come close to replacing it. And by giving it away for so long, streaming services are going to have a very hard time converting free subs to paying subs.

    What tech has failed to understand, appreciate or respect is that creativity is not just another product.


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Yeah it works for artists like Beyonce who already has hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank, but the average artist can not accomplish something like this.


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        … so it’s mucho better for them to give their music away for free, eh…

        Here’s why streaming is going to die:

        1) Streaming services desperately need artists.
        2) Artists don’t need streaming services at all.


        Reply
      2. Anonymous

        … so it’s mucho better for them to give their music away for free, eh…

        Here’s why streaming is going to die:

        1) Streaming services desperately need artists.
        2) Artists don’t need streaming services at all.


        Reply
      3. hippydog

        Why cant they?
        .
        There is nothing stopping an indie band from also doing a visual album.. (on a much smaller scale and budget of course),
        They only technical difference is they would release it on youtube (vevo) for promotion with links to itunes for sales of the videos..


        Reply
  14. Anonymous

    She’s competing with free, and doing a heckuva job. Look at those sales numbers! What is all this hand wringing about piracy?


    Reply
    1. FarePlay

      If it were only so. Piracy remains a serious problem for all artists, not just musicians and songwriters.


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        You couldn’t be more right.

        But we are beginning to see strong effects of the new anti-piracy laws and initiatives that have popped up all over the place since the MegaUpload’s fall. And continue to pop up.

        Just see what happened this week: Italy introduced a new tough defense system against piracy, Pirate Bay had to move again and it’s beginning to hurt, AT&T was in the news with revolutionary anti-piracy patents to detect pirates, and Google banned torrent search extensions for Chrome.

        There’s no doubt that Beyoncé’s first week freebee boycott would have been risky a year ago.

        But much has changed since then. VPN’s proved to be a joke earlier this year, and TOR is now known as the hot line to NSA.

        So what did consumers do? They sent a clear signal that they understand and accept that the free ride is over:

        They bought and paid for more than 400,000 expensive albums on release day, simply because there were no legal ways to get them for free and because it was too dangerous and complicated to steal them.


        Reply
        1. Casey

          Stealing Beyonce’s new album is much more difficult than traditional songs, being as they are videos. But perhaps one of the biggest reasons for it’s success is because it can only be bought as an album. People can’t pick-choose which songs they want, which in turn would cannibalize full album sales. If they want they have to buy it all. Being full of videos and unlike anything most people have ever bought, they want it.


          Reply
          1. Anonymous

            “Stealing Beyonce’s new album is much more difficult than traditional songs, being as they are videos”

            That doesn’t make any sense. A file is a file is a file.

            But you’re right that more albums are sold on release day when fans can’t cherry-pick singles.


            Reply
            1. hippydog

              Most likely the videos have been watermarked, makes make them traceable if someone was to purchase them then upload them to a torrent.. (which I think most people would be leery to do)
              or
              they could rip the videos and convert them to an audio only MP3.. etc etc.. (which I dont think her fans will do, so it would have to be dedicated pirate)

              Either way, she gets the window she needs before her album is mass released for free..


              Reply
    2. Anonymous

      “She’s competing with free”

      No — and that’s the point!

      She succeeded because:

      1) There were NO free streaming, and:
      2) Stealing has become too complicated and dangerous for mainstream consumers.


      Reply
  15. mdti

    yeah at the same time, I feel that “it is Beyoncé” is the cause of the success.

    Is there a comparison of the sales numbers for Beyoncé with and without streaming?
    Are the numbers that different?

    The fact that it is a “visual album” (a concept invented by Peter Gabriel in the early ages of Multimedia?) may explain the fact that it is not on streaming, that will probably be reserved for later.


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      “at the same time, I feel that “it is Beyoncé” is the cause of the success”

      Then you may want to compare the 310,000 copies her previous album sold the first week to the 430,000 copies her new album sold the first day.

      It proves that the correct first week strategy is to boycott free streaming, including YouTube, where she only released free previews.

      “The fact that it is a “visual album” (a concept invented by Peter Gabriel in the early ages of Multimedia?) may explain the fact that it is not on streaming”

      No, ‘visual albums’ is just a catch phrase: Lots of acts release a video per song; only difference is that Beyoncé boycotts YouTube’s free service. And the result gives us a preview of how YouTube’s upcoming paid service may change the landscape.


      Reply
      1. mdti

        Thanks for your comments.

        I would think that only repeating the same strategy followed by a similar success, by other artists, might bring the “proof” we are looking for – because I still doubt that the previous album of Beyoncé “failed” for the sole reason of streaming/not streaming. I remember rumors of numerous copyright infringments, of choregraphy and may be other things, that may have stopped people from supporting her because she was perceived negatively. There may be other reasons too, like bad timing, or else.

        But if it is right, it is good for me :-)

        About youtube future policy, what I have heard is that they will stop monetizing content that do not come from the content creator or right owner. If that is right, this might be actually good news, because revenues will be dispatched to the ones who actually created the content, ie, same size of pie, less invitees . But that’s another debate :-)


        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          “what I have heard is that they will stop monetizing content that do not come from the content creator”

          Wow! That’s story of the year, if true!

          Do you have any sources? Not that I doubt it — in fact it makes complete sense — but the consequences would be mindblowing: An entire industry will shut down (ask Jeff Price and IND Music), users can’t make spoofs, mash-ups and jokes anymore, while lots of artists will lose a good deal of money.

          Why would this be good news to you? ContentID doesn’t work for you? Is it because you don’t own exclusive rights to the content in question? I’m really curious about this.

          And yes, it is indeed another debate :) but it’s most definitely an important one to a lot of people.


          Reply
          1. mdti

            here is my source about youtube, but it is in French and comes from the national TV website, nothing to be fully trusted though
            http://www.francetvinfo.fr/internet/pourquoi-les-nouvelles-conditions-de-monetisation-de-youtube-posent-probleme_483492.html
            and a translation of the 2 first paragraphs (google trabnslate)

            >>>>>>
            In announcing Wednesday, December 11 new conditions monetization videos posted on the platform, the Google subsidiary has angered its users. To receive advertising revenue on videos, a “YouTuber” will now have “created the content in question” or have “permission to use it for commercial purposes”, with supporting documents.

            Clearly, if the user wants to use excerpts from a TV show, a song, a movie, a video game or compile created by others without the permission of the rights holders content, videos will be “no eligible for monetization. “These criteria exclude “a bunch of good videos,” comments on Twitter on Youtuber Mr. Dream. And they give beneficiaries the ability to control what is said about their works on YouTube.
            >>>>


            Reply
            1. mdti

              these new conditions upsets those who used to make reviews about created content, such as games for the best exemple; youtube reviews of game might not be “monetizable” anymore (eventhough it is a work that can be protected with copyrights in some countries).

              to be followed….


              Reply
              1. mdti

                >>>>
                Why would this be good news to you? ContentID doesn’t work for you? Is it because you don’t own exclusive rights to the content in question? I’m really curious about this.
                >>>>

                I don’t monetize anything on youtube, I am not ready yet. my releases are postponed for various reasons (like “i can make it much better”, or “this singer has good connections in majors, let’s wait a bit more to see what’s coming”, or “just tswisted my knee, cannot do anything” etc etc) .

                promotion etc, is a pain for me, i like to do music, not sure i will like to promote it, that’s another job which requires other skills :-(


                Reply
                1. mdti

                  ps: may be you are right and it is not good news…. when i go to youtube, i skip all those vevo stuff due to the over-long advertising, and i prefer to watch something else with the “skip this add after 5 seconds” or no add at all, and this is what i prefer to access…. The latest CD purchases of mine were done after watching such compilations uploaded by someone else than the right owner.

                  But then, without monetization, fans will do it for “fanhood”, not for money….

                  I don’t even know what is “contendID”… bummer ;-)


                  Reply
                  1. Anonymous

                    ContentID is — or should I say was? — YouTube’s brilliant way for content owners to find, block and/or monetize their property in case it was uploaded by unauthorized users.

                    Many artists make a good deal of money from it, either by using the system directly — you can read more on YouTube’s own site (google YouTube and ContentID; I won’t post the links because it sometimes prevent DMN-posts to show up) — or by paying a company such as Jeff Price’s Audiam, or IND music which is now cooperating with TuneCore.

                    You can also find interesting ContentID information in the comment section of several DMN-storíes concerning the artist Zoe Keating — for instance “I’m an Indie Artists. And this is exactly what streaming services are paying me in 2013″: Look for comments by the poster Zoe herself (that’s Zoe Keating).

                    Zoe Keating made more money from YouTube than from other streaming sites — despite the fact that she didn’t monetize her own videos.

                    She wrote:

                    “The Youtube revenue is almost entirely from soundtracks on 3rd party videos found automatically by Content ID.”

                    And again: These 3rd party videos are the videos that YouTube no longer will monetize.

                    This is huge!


                    Reply
                    1. Anonymous

                      Um, except I just looked at the Google-link in the French story and it seems to describe the old video monetization criteria.

                      So I begin to think that your TV station perhaps just was a little late in discovering the old rules: That a youtuber can not monetize content s/he doesn’t own exclusively.

                      This means, for instance, that youtuber X can’t upload and monetize Beyoncé’s new album.

                      But youtuber X can still upload the album and ‘let’ Beyoncé monetize it. Which brings us back to ContentID: Beyoncé has this choice: Either she decides to block all 3rd party uploads, or she chooses to monetize them instead.

                      So, I don’t think anything has changed.

                      But that doesn’t mean it won’t change when YouTube releases its new paid service. Again, it would make sense, at least from one perspective.


                    2. mdti

                      She wrote:
                      “The Youtube revenue is almost entirely from soundtracks on 3rd party videos found automatically by Content ID.”
                      And again: These 3rd party videos are the videos that YouTube no longer will monetize.
                      This is huge!

                      With such a perspective, I understand the problem from a completely different point of view.
                      This is huge indeed, and if I understand well, it should lower dramatically the potential sources of revenues, even for right-owners.
                      Thanks for shedding light on this!

                      French national TV website: they are often late, or too early (incomplete information). They can also have a political/moral bias sometimes, and they do mistales anyway, so information from them has to be recoupped with other information sources.


                2. Anonymous

                  “or “just tswisted my knee, cannot do anything” etc”

                  :) :) :)


                  Reply
            2. Anonymous

              Thank you VERY much for posting this!

              Unless your national TV station are a bunch of notorious liars :) which I doubt, I don’t see any reason why this should be wrong.

              So this does indeed seem to be THE music industry story of the year — buried in the digitalmusicnews comment section…

              This is weird!


              Reply
  16. David

    A stunt. The last gasp of the old music business along with the Radiohead ……stunt. Spotify could not have paid for better PR.


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      I think Spotify would love to bury this story. This is, after all, the headline:

      Want new music? Visit iTunes.

      While Spotify slowly turns into a place where you go to find old stuff that people don’t want to buy — or sell — anymore.


      Reply
  17. Lob Befsetz

    It’s a stunt. No different from Radiohead’s “In Rainbows.” Unrepeatable by mere mortals, never mind wannabes and also-rans.

    That’s how desperate Apple is. It lets Beyonce circumvent its rules and release a “video album,” so the record industry can have its bundle and the Cupertino company can delude itself into believing that it’s got a solution to Spotify, when the Swedish streaming company is chasing YouTube, not iTunes.

    And the media is so impressed by numbers that it trumpets the story, believing its role is to amplify rather than analyze.

    Yes, it was a story. The same way a bomb or SpaceX or anything new gets people’s attention. Only in this case, there was something to buy. Whoo-hoo! We got lemmings and fans to lay down their credit cards to spend money for the work of a superstar, as if this is a new paradigm.

    And we’ve got Rob Stringer and the rest of the inane music business slapping its back, declaring victory.

    What a bunch of hogwash.

    The story of 2013 is cacophony. How it’s almost impossible to get your message out to anybody but those who truly care. Because we’re inundated with a tsunami of information and can’t be bothered by that which we are not interested in.

    Yes, in a world where Snapchat is burgeoning and Instagram allows private messages we’re trumpeting something that went viral.

    That’s so 2012, that’s so “Gangnam Style.”

    The bottom line is Beyonce is a superstar. And superstars get traction. And everybody else is close to ignored. And you become a superstar by having a bunch of money and power behind you.

    Name this year’s big viral music video.

    There isn’t one. That game is gone too. And anything that moves is supported by the big boys, it’s all about manipulation.

    So you do the same thing Beyonce does. You drop your album with no advance publicity. Will that be news?

    OF COURSE NOT!

    We’ve seen the trick!

    Beyonce has put in years of hard work and hit tracks to get to the point where people pay attention.

    If you’ve got a stiff album can you whip your audience into a frenzy and get them to buy it first day out by doing no advance publicity? In other words, would Gaga have been better off doing what Beyonce did?

    I’d say so.

    But that wouldn’t work for long. And the point here truly is longevity.

    Yes, at the heart of this Beyonce project is old school thinking. Which is let’s release an ALBUM!

    Are we gonna be talking about “Epic” a year from now? Three months from now?

    There’s a good chance we’re not. That’s what’s wrong with the album construct, it was built for a different time. When we were starved for information and people waited for radio to work a “new” single years after the album was released.

    But these days the entire album is available for free the day it comes out. Do you really expect those sitting on the fence to decide to purchase 18 months out? That was the old game, deliver enough hit singles to convert those who were unsure. The new game is to constantly release product so that the audience will continue to be enticed.

    PSY didn’t have a follow-up single. Oh, he released one, it got a bit of traction out of curiosity, then disappeared, I dare you to name it.

    Carly Rae Jepsen had the hit of the summer and had no follow-up and is now forgotten.

    Robin Thicke released an album, but all people wanted was the single, he’s a trivia question, do you think he’s going to be invited to sing “Blurred Lines” at the 2014 AMAs? Ha!

    What’s your plan Stan? Just because you’ve got ten tracks that does not mean anybody is interested.

    And that’s what you need, a plan. And the plan can’t be to sell people one collection at one time. That’s as if Google only updated its search engine once a month, instead of constantly. How often do you think you’d go back to Google if that was the case?

    It comes down to music. And careers. And today being an artist means constantly creating, building an audience and holding it.

    This surprise album changes none of that.

    If you think there are lessons to be learned here, you come home from Magic Castle and try to duplicate the tricks.

    It’s a novelty. A footnote. Near meaningless.

    Beyonce is a star. If she tried to do this a year from now, almost nobody would be talking about it.

    Next.


    Reply
  18. hippydog

    Wow,
    Its funny how everyone is talking about ‘boycotting’ this, ‘boycotting that’..

    I think the amazing part is really that its a pure VIDEO ALBUM..
    THAT is part everyone should be talking about..
    Sure.. video albums have been done before.. but like this? no CD release, no radio ramp up, etc etc
    this is kinda epic..

    I predicted last week how single sales for some reason generate stronger “Albums” , and i predicted that we will see the ‘great album’ come back..
    (i’m NOT caller Beyonces album a ‘great album’ as I havent even heard it yet, BUT I am saying its an indicator of the direction things are going)

    Either way.. I’ve been hoping for something like this to happen..
    I think its smart in so many ways…
    * you reward the fans by giving them first access (not radio, not streaming)
    * you get a windowing affect as even the pirates will have to put in a few minutes to make the videos safe to share (watermarking doesnt stop pirates, but it does slow them down)
    * it brings back the ‘album concept’


    Reply
  19. hippydog

    did my post no go thru?
    or just delayed?


    Reply
  20. Dan Branch

    I think some of you are missing the point. This woman is so huge that her management and label decided that they wouldnt market the album as their strategy to marketing the album. For anyone that thinks that no one cares, they need to look around the internet and see the huge buzz thats going on. These are the stats so far:

    The numbers are staggering … even for a global superstar like Beyoncé. After initial projections had the singer moving more than 550,000 copies of her surprise Beyoncé album since its pop-up debut early Friday morning, when the final numbers came in on Monday afternoon (December 16) the walls came tumbling down.

    A few of the new benchmarks set by Queen Bey:

    »617,213 downloads, a new first week record for the U.S. iTunes store.

    »828,773 worldwide downloads, a new record for global iTunes sales, making Beyoncé the fastest-selling album in the history of the iTunes store.

    »Number one in 104 countries.

    »Beyoncé’s biggest sales week ever.

    »Second biggest digital sales week overall among all digital sales outlets, behind Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, which moved 662,000 in its first week. (That figure was thanks, in part, to an estimated 440,000 copies sold on Amazon.com. Bey’s album is available only at full price ($15.99) as a full album download.

    »Biggest sales week of 2013 for a female artist and the biggest for any woman since Taylor Swift moved 1.2 million copies of Red in October 2012. – MTV.com

    With that said. This was a masterful marketing strategy. Someone got patted on the back and a big raise on Monday morning.


    Reply
  21. Anonymous

    Now I’m mad that I switched from iPhone to the s4. Has anybody found any info about when the album will be available on other platforms?


    Reply
  22. Anonymous

    good and lucky promotional trick by a near-god superstar that nobody else will be able to replicate


    Reply
  23. Pingback: Beyoncé Skips Streaming Entirely and Releases an iTunes-Only ‘Visual Album’…Global Society Entertainment | Global Society Entertainment

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  25. Anonymous

    Can anyone tell me if/when this album will be available for purchase via android phones? thanks in advance!


    Reply

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