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Madonna should have pulled a Taylor for Madame X


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Imagine if she has put up for sale limited edition CDs and LPs with all the Madame X identities,  avallable to order for for just one week and then they are gone, forever.

Of course Taylor and Gaga got there first and Billboard has already announced changes to the rules so no one can benefit from this model afterwards. 

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I was thinking about this ... well, not precisely, of course, @Je5u5, you have a brilliant idea!! It would have made much more sense, with the multiple identities of Madame X, for Madonna to issue a variety of covers. (More so than for Taylor’s folklore, in my opinion.) Madame X certainly had the imagery. 

I was wondering about how far that model can be stretched. It would be interesting to know how many of Taylor’s sales were from multiple copies, just different covers. But of course there’s no way to know that, I suppose. 

I mean, for the past few albums, it has been this way for M, with a standard, deluxe, and super deluxe. I remember ROL, Music, AL, COADF, and HC all had one standard and one deluxe. Oh I guess that’s all MDNA had, too — just felt like more because there were standard versions with Gang Bang and without. So they only started to exploit it a bit with RH and Madame X. But 8 editions each on CD and vinyl? Seems a bit over the top, in my opinion. But whatever. If she can move those units, I guess more power to her.

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1 minute ago, peter said:

I was thinking about this ... well, not precisely, of course, @Je5u5, you have a brilliant idea!! It would have made much more sense, with the multiple identities of Madame X, for Madonna to issue a variety of covers. (More so than for Taylor’s folklore, in my opinion.) Madame X certainly had the imagery. 

I was wondering about how far that model can be stretched. It would be interesting to know how many of Taylor’s sales were from multiple copies, just different covers. But of course there’s no way to know that, I suppose. 

I mean, for the past few albums, it has been this way for M, with a standard, deluxe, and super deluxe. I remember ROL, Music, AL, COADF, and HC all had one standard and one deluxe. Oh I guess that’s all MDNA had, too — just felt like more because there were standard versions with Gang Bang and without. So they only started to exploit it a bit with RH and Madame X. But 8 editions each on CD and vinyl? Seems a bit over the top, in my opinion. But whatever. If she can move those units, I guess more power to her.

I know. It was the perfect album concept and image wise to try something like this.

The beauty of it is that there is not a specific amount of units: instead of the usual "limited to X copies" it's only limited in time frame and they will be shipped in 16 weeks so I'm sure they're not even manufactured yet. So once the ordering period is done, they will just print as many copies as they sold, but already having collected the money beforehand so it's risk free.

There is no "I will wait to see if the price drops". No "I will wait for my next paycheck". No "I will wait for the reviews". It's "You want it? Then it's now or never". It's evil in many ways LOL. But many would also fall for it. Probably me included. 

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The rule changes have to do with ticket and merchandise bundles. An act can still release as many versions of an album as they'd like, and sales of those count toward charts.

Note: Any album that comes bundled with a digital copy always counted as one sale.

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11 hours ago, HolidayGuy said:

The rule changes have to do with ticket and merchandise bundles. An act can still release as many versions of an album as they'd like, and sales of those count toward charts.

Note: Any album that comes bundled with a digital copy always counted as one sale.

Indeed but now I'm talking about this:

In addition, Billboard will no longer allow sales of physical albums or singles that are bundled with digital downloads to be reported as digital sales, thereby eliminating the practice of “spontaneous” non-manufactured items being used to influence first-week chart rankings. Only when the physical item -- ostensibly what the consumer is buying -- is shipped, will it be counted in Billboard’s official tallies.

The practice of selling vinyl, CDs and other physical releases that won’t be manufactured and shipped to consumers for weeks or months -- while offering a digital download that can be redeemed instantly -- has become widespread as of late, with artists including Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and 6ix9ine all recently using the tactic to boost their chart positions. The latest rule changes will render that tactic ineffectual.

All of those 17 variations of an album that will only be shipped in 4 months time come with a digital copy and as of today will allow those sales to be counted for next week's chart.

Taylor’s overnight release is a transparent attempt to benefit from that model before the rules change are in place.

Sure anyone can still do this but sales will only count once the items are shipped which would mean the artist would either have to do this months in advance, so not benefiting from the buzz of the release date or sales will simply not count until a much later date so the first week effect will be lost.

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Oh, yes- that won't be a thing in the future. And it's fair, me thinks. We've seen acts take advantage of that to bolster positions on the singles chart, by tacking a digital download on to the purchase of signed physical singles, that aren't shipped out for some time, and the like.

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i think it would have been a cool idea (and made more sense with the various disguises we saw in the promo videos). i also think a surprise drop without any pre-release singles would have been a great idea for this kind of unconventional album. if she's not going to get any airplay or traction with singles, why even bother anymore? 

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Shitty-ass Interscope wouldn't even let her release a double album let alone all that ish.

Swifty must be enjoying being the Queen of the Universal lot.

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9 hours ago, Kim said:

Shitty-ass Interscope wouldn't even let her release a double album let alone all that ish.

Swifty must be enjoying being the Queen of the Universal lot.

It's actually interesting, but from those um... leaked papers... we learned that Gaga's Interscope contract has restrictions on number of songs on an album and even song length, plus who she works with production-wise has to be approved by the label before it's even in the recording stage.  So there are actually very few, if any, unused songs that ever get finished for her.  The label also has full discretion to choose which songs are singles and get music videos.  I wonder if Madonna's is similar in a way.

Taylor's Republic Records deal affords her almost unparalleled creative freedom for a megastar artist.  She not only owns her own masters now (so she can record whatever and whenever she likes even if it never gets released), but she can also work with whoever she wants to and without informing anyone.  The label is basically only for distribution and marketing now, so her own Taylor Nation in-house team basically did all the graphics and lyric videos until it was time to send everything to be shipped out for production and distribution for release.

Ariana also seems to get similar freedom on Republic and seems to be recording a lot and has been able to spontaneously release a lot more songs in the streaming era than we used to be able to get, but she probably makes less on her music because she shifts fewer physical sales and not all of her recordings make it to physical release.

Now we know Madonna has a lot of demos and other recordings that never make it to market, so obviously her recording flexibility probably has more freedom than Gaga's, but it's interesting to wonder what other restrictions she has to deal with.

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The whole Madame X concept/imagery could have been done way better, remember this excitement when she posted cutting the apple and we thought it has a secret meaning?
And the idea of each song representing different persona, different videos for each etc....
In the end we got all unconnected weird personas in the trailer and in the Medellin video with super dark "Gang Bang-ish" intro and then "Spanish Lesson" kind of song.

How the dancing, wedding and horse riding is connected to this amazing chilly intro?
"I will never be what society expects me to be. I have seen too much. I cannot turn back. I've been kidnapped, tortured, humiliated and abused. And yet I still have hope, I still believe in the goodness of humans. Thank God for nature, for the angels that surround me. For the spirit of my mother, who has always protected me. From now on, I am Madame X, and Madame X loves to dance - because you can't hit a moving target." 

And then we got "I took a pill and had a dream" summer vibe. I love the album and I like the song but it's so weird and I don't get it.

Also just imagine all different deluxe versions cassette CD vinyl box for each persona - it would definitely boost sales, collectors and fans would buy tons of this.
And to see that Gaga was just selling signed bundles with 3 cassettes, vinyl and CD = so overall 5 sales per order... But hey, you get Gaga's "autograph" which in the end was just "LG" in the best case.

 

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On 7/30/2020 at 8:51 PM, rebelvvv said:

Taylor's Republic Records deal affords her almost unparalleled creative freedom for a megastar artist.  She not only owns her own masters now (so she can record whatever and whenever she likes even if it never gets released), but she can also work with whoever she wants to and without informing anyone.  The label is basically only for distribution and marketing now, so her own Taylor Nation in-house team basically did all the graphics and lyric videos until it was time to send everything to be shipped out for production and distribution for release.

Ariana also seems to get similar freedom on Republic and seems to be recording a lot and has been able to spontaneously release a lot more songs in the streaming era than we used to be able to get, but she probably makes less on her music because she shifts fewer physical sales and not all of her recordings make it to physical release.

 

Well it's not exactly heartening to read that these Kitchen Maids of Pop have more creative freedom and control than the Queen (a Queen either abdicates or dies before anyone starts quoting recent numbers or whatever 👑)

Oh well, I've said before that I think quitting WB will go down as her worst ever decision - no matter how much short term dolla she made.

4 hours ago, Cerise said:

The whole Madame X concept/imagery could have been done way better, remember this excitement when she posted cutting the apple and we thought it has a secret meaning?
And the idea of each song representing different persona, different videos for each etc....
In the end we got all unconnected weird personas in the trailer and in the Medellin video with super dark "Gang Bang-ish" intro and then "Spanish Lesson" kind of song.
 

True. That concept started so well then fizzled away into nothing. 

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I can't believe they weren't even selling the CD at the shows! They could have at least done a tour edition. It would have sold like hot cakes.

But we've all given hoping for anything like common sense to prevail.

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Of course this should have happened, but she seems to have the most out of touch, self sabotaging marketing team in the music industry. After The Beatles, The Stones she's one of the most collectable artists on EARTH, with a fanbase who actually still like buying physicals etc. 

Just look at The Weeknd's Heartless/Blinding Lights single,

https://www.discogs.com/The-Weeknd-Heartless-Blinding-Lights/master/1700544

....he released 30 separate editions!! M fans would've gone absolutely mental if she'd released alternative covered red 7" singles of Medellin. I know would! 

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On 8/1/2020 at 11:36 AM, luluthecat said:

Of course this should have happened, but she seems to have the most out of touch, self sabotaging marketing team in the music industry. After The Beatles, The Stones she's one of the most collectable artists on EARTH, with a fanbase who actually still like buying physicals etc. 

Just look at The Weeknd's Heartless/Blinding Lights single,

https://www.discogs.com/The-Weeknd-Heartless-Blinding-Lights/master/1700544

....he released 30 separate editions!! M fans would've gone absolutely mental if she'd released alternative covered red 7" singles of Medellin. I know would! 

I don't necessarily expect a new record company to understand every artist's fanbase, and the whole industry now has a very homogenised way of working, but I do expect her manager to - and I've always felt that Oseary just doesn't get us. It's up to him to make the case for the extra spending on stuff like physicals and to balance costs with consumer interest and fan loyalty etc. He has a lot to answer for when it comes to the premature cessation of Madonna's reign at the top of the biz.

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It seemed like we got quite a bit this era. Three album covers + booklets, multiple colored vinyls, different cassette (!!!!) pressings, a box set that included a 7" single, and a RSD exclusive 12" of I Rise. I was in heaven as far as different versions of the albums!

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The biggest issue with Madonna's marketing of her physical media is the appalling lack of communication and centralization of information.  Unless you were perched on a fan forum like this through the release, I don't know how anyone would have the time to find out she's selling XYZ color vinyl or special hardcover deluxe edition in XYZ country or find a chart created to differentiate the contents of one release from another.  It should be easier to find everything to buy in the first place.

As for the tour CD, I'm sure it was because the North American tickets came bundled with physical CDs upon sale and they probably forgot about that option entirely when prepping the merchandise for Europe.

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Ooh, I like this idea. I also liked the hype and buildup for Madame X, though, so I'm not too peeved with the way things turned out. Also, Taylor's fans are more interactive and agressive so they always know whats coming whereas Madonna fans are older and have lives to attend to, so they'll need more time to know if something is coming. So while in theory its a good idea, in reality it might have gone poorly.

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On 8/3/2020 at 4:43 PM, Jipsea said:

Ooh, I like this idea. I also liked the hype and buildup for Madame X, though, so I'm not too peeved with the way things turned out. Also, Taylor's fans are more interactive and agressive so they always know whats coming whereas Madonna fans are older and have lives to attend to, so they'll need more time to know if something is coming. So while in theory its a good idea, in reality it might have gone poorly.

The blue vinyl sold out in just a few hours. Just saying. 

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On 8/5/2020 at 6:27 AM, Je5u5 said:

The blue vinyl sold out in just a few hours. Just saying. 

Because there's only 1000 copies and M fans said it's one of her best release.

If it's 10,000 copies like those RSD colored LP, M fans won't even bother until someone reports it's selling out soon.

Same thing happened to HC, MDNA LP and the same group of fans whined about unable to get the LP.

History will repeat itself again and again and again and again...

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On 8/5/2020 at 8:46 AM, luluthecat said:

Exactly. Imagine if there were multiple covers too. 

The biggest issue is M store shiping SUCKS BIG TIME.

In order to count towards the sales, the shipping must be on point.

She should let Amazon to handle the shipping for her next album 'cos they ship on time.

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