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Music industry superstar Drake "pulled a Beyonce" last night by dropping a surprise album out of nowhere. That's been done before but what was particularly interesting was the name of the album "If You're Reading This It's Too Late" and the cover art

Around 11PM ET Drake dropped this tweet: https://twitter.com/Drake/status/566085353400852480 - along with the same image on Instagram.

The image went absolutely viral with people posting the image on their social media accounts igniting FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) to everyone who saw it and created a frantic race for all his fans to go download the album. Brilliant marketing strategy.

Is this the best music "growth hack" you've ever seen? Other notables are Jay-Z and U2.

  • JJ

    Jess Joyce

    almost 5 years ago #

    Wouldn't Beyonce be the one who pulled the greatest growth hack if it's called "pulling a Beyonce"?

    • ET

      Everette Taylor

      almost 5 years ago #

      @jessjoyce I think with the image he used for the cover art while dropping a surprise album was more clever than Beyonce’s. But that’s just personal opinion, figured you would side with your fellow Torontonian =)

      • EA

        E Ashong

        almost 5 years ago #

        How about the timing also? Just in time for All Star Weekend. Real clever

        • ET

          Everette Taylor

          almost 5 years ago #

          Definitely. Along with Valentine's Day. especially because his music tends to have people reflecting on their love life. Great to see you on the site @eazye_xo

          • JJ

            Jess Joyce

            almost 5 years ago #

            The great timing I agree with - good point! And much better placed than Beyonce's actually.
            I do love that it's released directly to the fans and spread virally from there - good on record companies for slowly evolving into the growth hacking mentality and it's such amazing proof to them and everyone else that they need to think outside of a traditional album launch.

          • EA

            E Ashong

            almost 5 years ago #

            Yes exactly that too. I think that element of his music is often underestimated

          • EA

            E Ashong

            almost 5 years ago #

            It's great to be here

  • ET

    Everette Taylor

    almost 5 years ago #

    Ha to be honest guys, this discussion was bit of a small newsjacking hack in itself to drive some traffic to GrowthHackers. Outside of our Home Page, Latest Page, and Must Read Page - this page has received the most traffic on the site since it was posted =). cc: @jessjoyce @loganstoneman @tommyismyname @kamil @davelocity @kyyjonssoni - it was more so a fun discussion.

    In my personal opinion, I think it was really clever marketing and the Jay-Z Samsung hack in my opinion was the greatest of all-time as well @jordanskole and I think the fake retirement for The Black Album is high up there as well @ad123.

  • JS

    Jordan Skole

    almost 5 years ago #

    I still think Jay-Z's deal was a better strategy. Platinum in under 1s is a pretty high bar to set. (ref: RIAA Changes Gold and Platinum Rules Due to Jay-Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail).

    • ET

      Everette Taylor

      almost 5 years ago #

      Yeah I agree, that one may be the G.O.A.T. @jordanskole

    • AF

      Aaron Forman

      almost 5 years ago #

      Jay-Z's best growth move IMO, even better than the Magna Carta pre-sale to Samsung, was his fake retirement for the Black Album. Created such hype around both the album and tour (and "Fade to Black" movie) that he truly dominated public discussion of rap (and even pop) music at the time.

      This move was so successful, it makes you question if other musicians that announce their retirement are actually stepping down, or just looking for temporary revenue/ popularity boosts (Swedish House Mafia, Allman Brothers, etc)

  • DF

    David Fallarme

    almost 5 years ago #

    Cool marketing move by Drake, for sure. But to call it a growth hack? That might be stretching the definition. More like a well-coordinated PR tactic.

  • LS

    Logan Stoneman

    almost 5 years ago #

    Definitely an interesting approach, but if any other artist who hadn't already achieved popularity attempted this, the strategy would rarely work IMO. The strategy works for Drake because he has obsessive fans that have come from hustle and quality work over the last 5-7 years.

    We've seen popular companies like Snapchat release features unannounced and receive major PR, but what about young startups who have unexpected launches. Are there releases considered "growthhacks"?

    This drake "drop" seems more of a great growthhack for those who have already crossed a certain threshold - unless someone has examples to refute this idea.

    • TW

      Tommy Walker

      almost 5 years ago #

      @everette Have to agree with you there @loganstoneman, this is a great stunt, but in order for it to be considered a "growth" hack, there has to be some real growth happening. Meaning, in this case, his existing fan base needs to expand in some major way.

      Looking at what is an admittedly weak metric, his Twitter followers, there wasn't really a noticeable jump at the time the album dropped. check it out: http://twittercounter.com/Drake

      Now, if this album outsold his last one by some major factor, then yeah, I'd consider it valid, but, from what I can see now, it's just a matter of marketing to your existing fans and doing an extremely awesome service for them.

  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    almost 5 years ago #

    What about Radiohead when they launched their "pay what you want" model with their "In Rainbows" album: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/radiohead-publishers-reveal-in-rainbows-numbers-20081015

    • LS

      Logan Stoneman

      almost 5 years ago #

      @anujadhiya definitely agree on this. one of, if not the most, 'growth-hacking-esque' strategy in the music biz.

      When you try a new strategy that results in new businesses centered around that specific strategy you know you've done something legendary.

  • SM

    Skux Master

    almost 5 years ago #

    If he was UNKNOWN, yes would have been the greatest GH. He is already on people's radar though. It had everyone scrambling to listen and download, that's for sure.

  • OW

    Omari Whyne

    almost 5 years ago #

    I find it amazing that the album wasn't leaked beforehand. He must have an amazing team around him.

  • KS

    Kamil Szybalski

    almost 5 years ago #

    I don't think the image had anything to do with a marketing tactic, I think it's more related to his relationship w/ his record label.

  • EK

    Eetu Karppanen

    almost 5 years ago #

    i think in situations like this it depends alot about how succesful is the dropped album itself. In this case in my opinion this was bit flopped album if i compare it to Jay-Z's or Beyonce's albums.

  • NK

    Nikita Kosholkin

    almost 5 years ago #

    Maybe "Steal this album" by System of a Down ?

  • VV

    Visakan Veerasamy

    almost 5 years ago #

    If you asked me to think about growth hacking and music, KISS is what comes to mind. They're consummate professionals, and Gene Simmons has a great business mind. I believe they made their own record label and bought their own CDs so that they could approach the press to write about them. They did the facepaint and the theatrics. But even then I'd say that's more of newsjacking and PR than actual growth hacking... we need to protect the term if we don't want it to become meaningless!

    I suppose another growth hack would be U2 getting its album on everybody's iTunes without anybody's consent. But you all saw how that played out.

  • DM

    David Miller

    almost 5 years ago #

    Makes sense when you have a gazillion followers. :-) Hell, one could crap in a brown bag with that amount of followers and move it - lol.

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