Changing The Game: The Brilliance Of Beyonce And Her Legion Of Fans.

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Using no advance warning and only word of mouth via her legion of social media followers—8 million on Instagram and 53 million on Facebook (plus 1.2 million tweets in 12 hrs) Beyonce managed to sell a record breaking 828,773 copies of her new “visual album”  in just three days, making it iTunes fastest selling album ever. Further, Apple reported that the album has gone to No. 1 in 104 countries… pretty much the whole world in other words. 

Social and digital technologies are powering and challenging everyone from bands to brands to governments, to innovate completely new business models with the payoffs far outweighing the risks.  This week we’re going to showcase some of the most brilliantly executed strategies that have been game changers, and since we’re on the subject, let’s add another radical move by Radiohead back in 2007, when the band released their seventh album titled ‘In Rainbows‘. Bypassing all of the usual launch channels the release went straight to fans via a website allowing them to pay whatever they wanted for the music. Bold, and ultimately their most commercially successful approach EVER, with 3 million downloads in the first year and to date more than $10 million in revenue, it was a landmark move that forever changed the music industry, for everyone.

As Music Ally pointed out, “for Warner it served to prove a point that by licensing directly (i.e. outside the collecting society network) and by offering a genuine one stop shop for licensing (i.e. combining all the digital rights into one offer from a single entity) the publisher was able to generate far more money for both themselves and the band than would have been possible under the traditional system.” The music industry will never be the same again.

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