So This is Drake’s Clever Marketing Strategy

Drake is so good at marketing his music that Bill Richards, VP of Marketing at Sony Music Entertainment, summed up their philosophy thus: “What would Drake do?”

In an interview with Hubspot, about how labels work to rebrand their celebrities in an effort to boost sales (the focus was on Jordin Sparks, squeaky-clean American Idol winnerwho coveted a new, darker edge), we spotted this interesting quote from Richards:

“Drake doesn’t go straight to pop radio. He puts up a mix tape, tweets clips of new songs, makes it seem like the record companies don’t know about it (although they always do), and overall releases his music in a way that seems more personal to his audience. Pop is still shrouded with a corporate vibe.”

Originally intended as a free mixtape release, hosted by DJ Drama as part of his Gangster Grillz series before Cash Money Records intervened and pushed for a retail release, it wasn’t clear at first whether If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late was a mixtape or an album. Skipping the formalities of an album release for someone of his magnitude, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late showed up unannounced on iTunes on February 13, 2015, for purchase like an album. This was the day after Drake released Jungle, an intimate short film allowing fans to sit-in on the psyche of rap’s biggest superstar, before and after the fame. From childish home movies to humbling scenes of Drake and friends standing in the queue outside the club, it had all the hustle of a grass roots movement. It reminded fans that Drizzy had to come up like the rest. And the OVO blog still sits on the ancient-by-internet-standards Blogspot platform; if that isn’t keeping to the grass roots then I don’t know what is.

This is Drake’s marketing strategy: linking directly with the people, keeping the PR crew invisible. The result is something much more honest. So, will he and his brain trust rewrite the rules once again with Views From the 6 or will he keep up with the continuing success of the last run?

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