Over the last year, streaming has gone from 175 billion songs to 317 billion songs while digital downloads have decreased by 12.5 percent, which challenges artists more than ever as they strive to connect with their fans and encourage album sales. The result? Some truly eye catching stunts.
Back in 2013 Beyoncé released her fifth studio album "Beyoncé" with zero advanced promotion. She surprised the world by dropping the album unexpectedly on iTunes, and that was enough promotion on its own. Within three days she sold nearly 830,000 albums, making "Beyoncé" the fastest-selling album in iTunes history at that point.
Kanye West, no stranger to self-promotion, tweeted that his upcoming album "Swish" would be the best of all time. He quickly followed that up with another tweet clarifying that it would be "album of the life." This is all building up to the release of Kanye's seventh album along with his third Yeezy fashion collection at Madison Square Garden in what is sure to be a grand cross-promotional extravaganza.
Rihanna has also been building anticipation around her new album "Anti" and her upcoming tour. A quick glance at her Instagram feed reveals that the promotion is hard to miss. Rihanna has now taken it to the next level building off the album’s crown themed cover art and posting a photo listening to the album topped with an $8,895 pair of Dolce & Gabbana jewel encrusted headphones complete with a built-in crown.
Of course, we'll have to wait until those albums are released to determine whether all the hype pays off.