(AllHipHop News) Some people praised the plan Frank Ocean used to release his new album Blonde. In contrast, the R&B star’s former label is reportedly considering suing him.
Ocean’s sophomore studio album Blonde arrived as an independent LP after he turned in another “visual album” titled Endless to Def Jam Records/Universal Music Group as his final contract requirement. Endless was exclusively available for streaming on Apple Music.
Blonde was only streamed on Apple Music as well, but Ocean also sold the album via the iTunes music store. The LP sold 232,000 copies in its first week with a total of 276,000 sales plus streaming units.
Billboard calculated the possible one-week revenue advantage Ocean earned by Blonde coming out on the “Nikes” performer’s own Boys Don’t Cry company rather than Def Jam.
The publication reports:
So far, Blonde has generated about $2.12 million in total, according to Billboard‘s estimate. (Note that the following tallies are based on the assumption that Ocean is receiving 70 percent of revenues, since Blonde was self-released — in a major fiscal coup for the artist.) Of that first week cash, Ocean would have made $1.623 million off 232,000 album sales, and about $504,000 on 69.1 million streams…
With publishing revenue wholly subtracted, Ocean would still net about $1.77 million from Blonde… from its first week.
At one time, it was virtually impossible for a music act to reach a widespread audience and achieve significant financial success without the help of a major record label. It looks as if that is an outdated concept in 2016.
Like Frank Ocean, Chance The Rapper is another independent entertainer that has made a major impact by presenting his work on Apple Music. Unlike Ocean, the Chicago native did not sell his Coloring Book mixtape.
Despite not purposely seeking commercial benefit from direct sales of Coloring Book, Chance still made history when the tape became the first project to make the Billboard 200 album chart (#8) strictly off streaming numbers.
Apple Music and other streaming services are just one alternative for indie musicians. With internet-based platforms such as SoundCloud and YouTube, artists are now connecting with global listeners without corporate backing.
Other companies such as TuneCore and BitTorrent are providing distribution options that allow performers to keep a larger share of the profits from the art they create. Public Enemy, Curren$y, Public Enemy, Curren$y, Cam’ron, MF Doom, Bishop Nehru, De La Soul, and Prodigy are just a few Hip Hop figures that have taken advantage of BitTorrent Bundles.
The impact of the Digital Age and the continuing evolution of the music industry will surely open up more chances for independent artists to circumvent the major label complex and still earn a nice living from their music.