Musicians don’t come more marmite than Kanye West at the moment. Why? He’s outspoken, he rants, he makes bold claims but he also produces great music. The build-up to his new album has been lengthy to say the least, but he’s shown us all the role that the internet can play in the run-up to a successful album launch.
In the past month, in particular, he’s got people talking about his new album. How? Simple, change the name of it four times and make sure you make your 18 million Twitter followers aware.
Yes Kanye has changed the name of his new album four times. Settling for ‘The Life of Pablo’ in the end, he then had every news site hanging onto the end of each character on his timeline to see when the album would be released and what we could expect. He even ran a pretty informal competition to get people excited about the album (see below) with the winner getting tickets to Kanye’s album/fashion line launch party.
This led to TLOP trending number one worldwide which isn’t too shabby for a simple competition and tweet.
Throughout this campaign Kanye’s Twitter account has been the only place to find information about his album which boosted his following significantly. Kanye’s increased social media presence has given him a worldwide voice and audience through which he’s been able to send out endless album teasers. His launch event was streamed online live from Madison Square Garden via Tidal (Jay Z’s online streaming service) where a captive audience got to hear snippets of his new album.
Streaming his launch on Tidal (in which he also owns shares) should have been the clue everybody needed for his next move. By building the release of this new album as imminent he then announced that his album would only be available to stream on Tidal exclusively for a week. By doing this he not only built up more hype around his new album but he also gave Tidal a little leg up over its competitors, Spotify and iTunes, as it quickly went to the top of the Apple’s App store downloads shortly after Kanye’s announcement. Since announcing it wouldn’t be available anywhere else he has said it won’t be available anywhere else (see below) ever which has given Tidal even more stature.
This campaign appears from the outside unorganised and chaotic but that’s that the way they wanted it. This is the first time an artist has done a campaign like this and it’s clearly worked. Let’s be honest Kanye’s new album was always going to sell well but that wasn’t the focus of this campaign. The focus was to get people talking about the release and talking about Kanye West the artist again as opposed to the celebrity.
Euan Stirling is a Social Media Executive at Indigo