He may not have won the Oscar, but Pharrell Williams probably doesn’t mind.
It was a big year for Williams, who featured on not one, but two of the top singles of 2013 - Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” As if that wasn’t enough, he went ahead and released his own track “Happy,” as part of the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack, and made a big splash when he pushed a 24-hour music video to accompany the uplifting, smile-inducing track. After all, he is known for being an innovator. Williams was all over the Grammys this year, too, not just because he seemingly stole a hat off a park ranger that then became a Twitter sensation, but also for racking up a solid seven nominations and nailing a performance alongside Daft Punk, Nile Rodgers and the legendary Stevie Wonder. And this doesn’t even touch on all his non-music-related ventures.
As the Oscar-buzz began in late January, the online consumption of “Happy” kept growing at a steady rate. While the track was not considered the favorite in its category (Best Original Song unsurprisingly went to Frozen’s “Let It Go,” performed by Idina Menzel or whatever it was John Travolta decided to call her), Williams brought his swagger to the nationally-broadcasted stage, donning yet another over-sized hat, and got more than a little exposure just hours before his album G I R L officially hit the stands.
The announcement that Williams was about to release an album, his first since 2006, came as somewhat of a surprise, with the news breaking only a few days before it became available for streaming on iTunes Radio. The whole ordeal didn’t have quite the shock-factor of what Beyoncé delivered in December, but a fairly short cycle by industry standards nonetheless.
The timing however, couldn’t have been better for Williams. Since December 2013, he has seen his numbers skyrocket, adding close to 2 million new page likes on Facebook (not far off half of his all-time total at about 4.7 million), 420,000 new followers on Twitter and close to 700,000 mentions, and more than 100 million video views on YouTube.
All the hullabaloo around Williams during recent events is evident in his data. He saw about 170,000 Wikipedia page views and 40,000 new Twitter followers around both the Grammys as well as the Oscar awards. But there is also an overall increase in the daily average for Williams month over month. While he was gaining an average of 3,442 Twitter followers a day in the week leading up to the Grammys, he added an average of 6,942 the week before the Oscars.
It almost seems to good to be true that it was really all just a very “happy” coincidence that the album was ready to ship. The announcement, which came by way of a 30-second clip published on the official channel for Williams’ brand i am OTHER, was released on February 18th, and quickly racked up more than a million views.
Without specifically promoting an album release, over the past few months Williams has positioned himself in the spotlight and primed his audience, allowing him to quickly release an album to fans that are ready and waiting. With this he joins the ranks of other artists who are successfully challenging the norms of how things are done in this industry.
Photo Credit: Screen grab from Official YouTube Channel i am OTHER.
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.