Talk about Bey-buzz.
Apple announced Monday that Mrs. Carter had sold an astonishing 800,000+ albums over the weekend, after she blew the socks off the music industry and dropped a bombshell surprise release late Thursday night. This makes her self-titled album BEYONCÉ, available exclusively on iTunes, the fastest selling album through the online purveyor of all time. If the massive stir she has caused wasn’t evident in her record-breaking sales-figures, it sure is online.
Not everyone could pull off a release like this. With close to 54 million Facebook page likes and more than 13 million Twitter followers, it is safe to say that Beyoncé had a massive fan base already chomping at the bit to run out and buy her new album. Still she apparently had room to grow, more than 1.1 million of these Facebook page likes came in the last week, an 859% increase from the week before.
What is more, her fan base is engaged, which makes a big difference when you are trying to pull off a stunt like this. More than 2.2 million stories about Beyoncé were shared on Facebook from December 8th to December 14th, where she has posted about the release of the album. Even though she hasn’t tweeted since August, in the past week Bey’s handle was mentioned more than 375,000 times on Twitter (close to an 800% increase), 248,000 of which happened on the release date alone. Who needs promotional marketing when your fans will spread the word for you?
The megastar is thinking outside the box in more ways than one when it comes to releasing her music. Not only did she catch the world by surprise, but a key component of the album are the many videos that accompany it. Her reasoning? “I wanted to make this body of work,” says Beyoncé in an introductory clip. “I feel like it’s something that’s lost in pop music.”
BEYONCÉ is a “visual album,” a compilation of 14 songs and 17 videos. Tracks can not be purchased individually just yet, forcing the hand of eager fans to shell out for the full experience if they wish to consume now. She was however kind enough to share teasers through YouTube, sending users into a frenzy. On Friday, December 13th, she clocked more than 15 million views on her official channel, and close to ten million the following day. Only a few days later did videos from the album start to trickle online one by one.
The album shouldn’t come as a complete surprise, Bey has definitely been dangling the carrot all year, keeping fans and the music industry on their toes. She released the single “Bow Down” through SoundCloud in March, causing a massive spike in plays (more than 1.5 million that day), and setting off a flood of speculation around when she would be dropping an album.
Whether the clever “lack-of-marketing” scheme around this album was all about honing her craft, speaking directly to fans, or simply selling through the roof, Mrs. Carter is proving herself as savvy in business as her husband. She certainly knocked this release out of the park, right in time to steal the limelight as 2013 comes to a close.
Photo credit: Screen grab official YouTube channel.
This article originally appeared on Forbes.com. Liv Buli is the resident data journalist for music analytics company Next Big Sound. Buli is a graduate of New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and her work has appeared in Newsweek Daily Beast, Forbes, Billboard, Hypebot and more.