While you were catching up on sleep from Golden Globe nomination morning, watching Scandal, writing your letter to Santa, questioning the trajectory of “Homeland,” etc., Beyonce casually dropped an album on iTunes and caused the internet to implode.
Now, in case you are still wiping sleep from your eyes, allow me to catch you up: around midnight EST, without any warning, Queen Bey posted an Instagram video with the caption “Surprise!” announcing a new “visual” album featuring 14 songs and 17 videos. Move essentially bucks the established norm of building mega-anticipation for an album months in advance, which should surprise no one because it’s Beyonce and have you seen her?
Anyway. From there, all hell broke loose online — tweets, Instagram posts, Facebook statuses and more propelled the viral, organic marketing of the album simply titled “Beyonce.” Beyonce-related tweets and hashtags quickly began trending in the middle of the night, and the album shot to the top of charts in dozens of countries, which speaks not only to the star power of Beyonce, but the brave new world of album promotion that can occur entirely online and through fans, and not through a record label.
In other words, power to the people.
Beyonce seems to have become fond of dropping news about her career via social media channels and without warning. She announced her Super Bowl halftime performance via Tumblr, for example, with a simple photo of her sporting eyeblack marked with the Super Bowl date.
Fans of the popstar can likely still make out reindeer in the distance this morning, after the surprise album drop. Celebs reeled on their Twitter accounts after learning that Beyonce had turned album release methods on their heads. Here are some gems:
So my sister is a fucking G.
Beyoncé , the visual album out now.—
solange knowles (@solangeknowles) December 13, 2013
So far Beyonce album has lots of "u aren't honest w me" lyrics GET RIGHT W GOD JAY Z—
Chelsea Peretti (@ChelseaVPeretti) December 13, 2013
i just bought a new Beyonce album at two in the morning. is that weird?—
Mark Ronson (@iamMarkRonson) December 13, 2013
SON: "Oh my God, Dad, Beyonce just released a surprise album!!!!"
ME: (Long pause, then choking up) "I love you no matter what."—
Danny Zuker (@DannyZuker) December 13, 2013