Lynne d Johnson



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03.24.06 11:40 AM

the ne-yo marketing success story

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It started with Def Jam shipping 900,000 Units. And though the RIAA has certified In My Own Words as Platinum, it only means that Ne-Yo's debut album has shipped sufficient copies to sell over one million units at retail.

Released on Feb. 28, it was reported by Mar. 8 that the album debuted at #1 Pop and R&B. Overall, Def Jam's marketing strategy revolved around the selling of the single, "So Sick." On Mar. 16, it was reported that the single led the U.S. singles chart for a second week.

Currently Ne-Yo's "So Sick" is #5 on the Billboard Pop 100 Chart, #2 on ringtone downloads, #4 on hot digital downloads, #3 on hot digital tracks, #6 on hot r&b/hip-hop songs, #3 on the Billboard Top 100, and #4 on Pop 100 Airplay. In My Own Words is #3 on hot r&b/hip-hop albums and #4 on the Billboard Top 200. Crooner Ne-Yo is now a hot crossover act.

So it's safe to assume, at this point, that Def Jam's witholding of the single from iTunes and other digital music services until the CD was released was a smart move. According to, 120,000 copies of "So Sick" were downloaded from paid digital music services, and the singer sold 301,000 copies of In My Own Words in its first week, making it the year's biggest debut.

The usual practice of labels is to release advance singles, before the album is released, the generate a buzz. But since this strategy has paid off for Def Jam, other labels are now following suit.

Atlantic Records partnered with Sprint to offer fans exclusive mobile downloads of rapper T.I.'s King up until it's released on Mar. 28. This will be the only digital advances of T.I.'s new music available prior to it's on-sale date. In T.I.'s case, his sales will also be boosted by his acting debut in ATL, that's set to hit theaters Mar. 31.

As labels continue to struggle with record sales, there are going to be a slew of new strategies that buck against the recording industry's status quo for marketing an artist.

Also check prohiphop's Marketing E-40

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