Hype-free surprise release blazes winning trail online
NEW YORK: Beyonce’s surprise album has sold surprisingly well: with more than 600 000 units gone in its first three days, setting a record for first-week domestic digital sales.
The self-titled album was released exclusively on iTunes just over a week ago, unbeknown to the public.
Apple said Monday that the album sold 617 213 in its US iTunes Store. It sold 828 773 internationally. “You have to be innovative. The internet has changed the game. You’ve got to look at how to address the fact that most artists’ albums leak before their release plans,” said Lee Anne Callahan-Longo, the general manager of Beyonce’s production company Parkwood Entertainment, who released the album alongside Columbia Records.
“We had a multitude of things we were trying to accomplish, some things we were trying to avoid, and this turned out to be the right perfect plan for us.”
Beyonce surprised fans with the release of the album, which features 14 songs and 17 videos. In three hours, it sold 80 000 units, and the build-up continued over the weekend.
Beyonce features collaborations with Jay Z, Drake, Frank Ocean and Justin Timberlake, who co-wrote two songs. The album was sold by iTunes exclusively for a week and hits retailers and others websites this week.
“It wasn’t easy and we were really careful,” Callahan- Longo said of keeping the album a secret. “It started with a very small core group of people and only grew when necessary in order to make something happen.
“It got a little dicey as we got closer and closer as the circle had to widen.”
Beyonce not only broke the firstweek digital sales record for an album in the US, it also marks the singer’s best first-week numbers.
It will debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 albums chart this week. – Sapa-AP