"Donda", A word you’ve probably heard daily for the last three months. With it now being released on all streaming platforms, there’s a sudden urge to review Kanye's marketing strategy for the project.
It all started when Kanye planned to rent out a luxury room at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Now, this on its own is a headline for fans of his who wondered, ‘what is Kanye doing spending an outrageous amount to reside in the stadium?’ Well, there’s a one-word answer for that, Donda. He set up his space with the producer and began working on the project. While this was taking place, Kanye acted in his usual Kanye persona - deleting everything off of his Instagram to base it around the project and being wishy-washy with the final product through multiple (3) Apple Music listening events.
I attended the first one when I heard the breaking news of it last minute through social media. It was kind of surreal since this was the first unveiling of what Donda looked like in Ye’s head. In a typical fashion, he did some weird rituals involving him doing push-ups. But, that’s not even the craziest part.
For the third show, however, Kanye wanted something personal for this project. He replicated his Chicago childhood home while turning it into a church then placed it dead center of Soldier Field for the ultimately sold-out show featuring artists such as Playboy Carti, Lil Baby, and Jay-Z. The way it flowed was miraculous after multiple discrepancies of actually placing artists on their respected tracks. He announced multiple times that he took Jay-Z and Kid Cudi off for no reason but ended up putting them on the album anyway. It’s a ludicrous tactic, but it worked well in terms of streaming revenues. However, this wasn’t the only fuel added to Ye’s already highly stressed fire. Kanye’s label had released the project without his consent earlier than expected. Finding that out, Ye was mad until he saw the streaming numbers Donda had created. His producer, however, wasn’t so lucky. The producer overslept the session they’d booked previously and Kanye fired him. He also left him with these words, “Go find God.”
In conclusion, this marketing strategy is something that is barely touched on in the music industry, let alone the marketing industry as a whole in terms of mainstream marketing ideologies. The streaming numbers spoke for themselves and did well for an album that has changed its release date more than three times.