Last night Beyonce and Jay-Z put on a show. The photos and video are exploding over social media, traditional media is in awe, and everyone and their grandma is rushing to download B’s latest album thanks to this unofficial music promotion. Oh yeah, and the performance was during the Grammys where a bunch of other artists tried to out-twerk each other with crazy stage displays and pyrotechnics and mock humility. But who cares about them because BEYONCE.

Music Promotion

How Star Power Drives Music Promotion

Beyonce is single-handedly changing pop music promotion, with management groups scrambling to figure out what’s what. With absolutely zero promotion (though she did tour earlier in the year, never acknowledging an album was in the works) Beyonce dropped an album on iTunes in the middle of the night to huge retail success and critical acclaim. Compare that to recent albums released by Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, which posted disappointing sales numbers despite massive marketing spends.

The diversification of media means that no one industry power has the leverage to guarantee that a record gets huge no matter how much money a company sinks into marketing it. In response, promoters are trying anything, and the more risqué the better. Poor Miley — she’s been relegated to nothing more than a tired joke and doesn’t even have the record sales to help her sleep at night.

Patrick Coffee of PRNewser put it best today when he wrote

“Basically, if you want to be huge in the music world you have two options: 1) be risqué 2) be Beyonce.”

I choose Beyonce.