The Future of Journalism is Beyoncé

Jenna Wortham, a technology reporter for The New York Times, writes in Nieman Journalism Lab that the future of journalism is Beyoncé. Say what? As she says, stick with her:

Beyoncé completely upended the conventional model by which major album releases are released by the sheer amount of material that she airdropped simultaneously — more than a dozen new songs and videos for each — is unprecedented.

Her strategy, and its success, could shine a light on what consumers want and what is possible for all content creators, entertainers and publishers alike, in the future. It’s important to note that Bey’s strategy isn’t popular in a commercial sense — brick-and-mortar retailers like Target have promised not going to sell her album because it was available digitally before it was made available physically, which feels like an egregious error on their part, given the overall popularity of the album — but Bey’s earns points with me for not afraid to upset the incumbents to experiment with something new…

Her fans weren’t barraged by a series of advertisement and reminders about her coming album for months before it saw the light of day. They were thrilled by the surprise and can’t get enough of it.

I saw the news of Beyoncé’s release of the album shortly after midnight on Thursday. It took me a few days, but I downloaded the album this week and have been listening to it as I work out in the gym. It is very good. It’s also the most I’ve ever spent on an album, but the inclusion of a number of videos was the selling point for me (and made it worth the cost).

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