Overnight, Beyonce released her new album, exclusively to iTunes. By many accounts, it’s pretty good, as Beyonce albums often are, but you shouldn’t buy it just yet. Why, you ask? Because it may be an album worth having in your collection, but it’s a product designed to squeeze the most money possible from fans.
Here are, in order of severity, the problems with the album, as a product. For the record, this is likely all done for the publicity; keep in mind the lady’s husband is not exactly a naive schoolgirl when it comes to marketing yourself.
It’s Only Available On iTunes
Yes, iTunes is the biggest music store in the world, but come on. This is silly, especially since this album will obviously be hitting every other outlet in a week.
Few albums are worth $16, especially albums that will have three singles that radio will be inescapable for the coming months. To be fair, that means that each piece of content works out to about fifty cents a pop on this album, which is a fair bulk rate, one supposes. But it has to be priced that way, because…
You Can’t Buy Individual Tracks Until Next Week
No. Just… no. This is not really the time or place to get into the bizarre rules that force every album to have a few crappy songs on them just to boost royalties, but suffice to say, the sun has set on the album, and stunts like this will not bring it back. Even if every single track on that album is gold, and Beyonce is pretty damn good at pop music, it’s still assuming a lot that everyone will want to listen to all fourteen tracks over and over again.
You Have To Download Seventeen Music Videos
It’s a bit annoying that labels and musicians are viewing music videos as an enormously valuable product in their own right. They are ads. Elaborate, expensive, and arty ads, in many cases, but they’re still ads. You don’t pay for ads.
Furthermore, seventeen music videos almost invariably means a pretty high dud-to-quality ratio. Admittedly, Beyonce can afford the best; Jonas Ackerlund, Terry Richardson, Hype Williams, the list goes on. But it’s still seventeen music videos, most of which you’re probably not going to watch, and all of which will be on YouTube by the time you read this.
In short, if you can hold off for a week, you should; the tracks will be available individually soon. And let’s face it, the songs will be everywhere you have ears shortly anyway.