As the music industry continues to move away from physical sales and the need to save money on production methods, less artists are releasing full studio albums.
Albums are not expected to disappear anytime soon, but are released less frequently. Albums originally had a practical purpose of being cost effective both for consumers and artists. They were composed of the artist's greatest hits, a fun story concept, and/or experimental phases. However, with the rise of music streaming platforms, social media access,and quick-paced consumerism, there’s a lot less demand and pressure in putting out a full body of work for public opinion. So how are artist’s staying in the public eye with just singles?
Recently, it's been about creating a campaign and experience around each single, similar to how albums were promoted. Many artists have purposefully or accidentally used TikTok to promote teasers to upcoming songs, going viral off verse snippets, challenges, skits, etc. One example being, Lil Nas X, who teased his recent hit “Montero” for over a year before release or Chase Atlantic who’s formerly scrapped song “Oh Mami” blew up and fans begged for it’s release. Artists will spend time promoting on traditional talk shows, but invest in creating theatrical live performance videos, most recently done for Ariana Grande’s 2020 song, “POV,” another TikTok hit, as well as, Doja Cat’s most recent singles “Ain’t Sh**” and “Kiss Me More.”
With a push for aesthetics, performance, experience, and experimenting with new sounds, fans prefer more content consistently from their favorite artists, rather than waiting a year or two in between for full albums. That being said, the appeal of the full album, record breaking fan wars, and stories told through artistic decisions still has its place in the industry.Written By Makenzie Hall