Thursday, July 28, 2011
Continuously Revolutionizing..or Evolving?
With the release of arguably the most anticipated hip-hop release in the last decade, Watch The Throne, only 11 days away and no leak in site, I sit here in bewilderment and ask myself a single question. Have Shawn Carter and Kanye West actually figured out a way to prevent an album from leaking? Their release strategy for WTT, originally thought of as unorthodox at best, could prove to be a single strategy that has the potential completely change the way albums are released and how music reaches the masses.
In the modern digital era of music, an album typically "leaks" prematurely on the internet about 5-10 days before the actual release of the album in stores and online, due to the fact that manufacturers have the discs to ship out before they actually are and someone gets their hands on them, etc, etc. With an exclusive digital release of Watch The Throne on iTunes on August 8th, 5 days before the album will hit retailers and other digital outlets, Jay and Kanye have essentially managed to schedule their album's release so a leak would in fact be pointless. By moving a digital release only up to the day an album would normally "leak", by the time anyone gets their hands on the actual physical album to leak it, it will have already been available on iTunes, and therefore impossible to physically leak, in a sense. This way, Jay and Kanye can control who possesses the album until the last minute, and then put it on iTunes themselves. This genius strategy is such a simple idea, but the fact that no one has ever thought of it before these 2 moguls is what makes it so revolutionary. I wouldn't be surprised if from now on we see more, if not all, major label albums being released on iTunes before they are released in stores. Could we see another shift in power in the music industry back to the artists and major labels? Has Jay-Z finally beat the system, after the music industry failed to listen to him when Napster first hit?? Will WTT sell a million copies before it even goes on sale?!?
A leak of the album would make all of this ranting pointless and my ideas completely useless, if it doesn't, however, I think we are all witnessing another power shift in the music industry and you might want to take some time out of your day to.....wait for it.....Watch The Throne.