KiD CuDi's WZRD Debuts At No. 3 Despite Being Swept Under The Rug By Universal

from the the-fans-have-spoken dept

Last week we wrote about WZRD, the new album from KiD CuDi on which he went in an entirely different direction from his usual style. That's the kind of thing that makes big record labels nervous (they'd prefer artists just keep churning out variations on their first success) and CuDi's label Universal Republic was no exception. After the release, CuDi took to Twitter to vent:

Ok so just a heads up, my weak ass label only shipped 55k physicals cuz they treated this like some indie side project tax right off. So i apologize on behalf of my weak ass major label. And I apologize for the lack of promo, again, my weak ass major label. They tried to rush me thru this so i can just give em another MOTM, but guess what? Fuck that, next album is WZRD. MOTM3 on hold til 2014. who mad??? not me and @DotDaGenius. So its def gonna be tough to find one in the stores guys, I'm sorry about that.

Apparently fans were prepared to make the effort, because WZRD debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. This is especially funny in the wake of RIAA CEO Cary Sherman's recent interview, in which he claimed record labels were needed to "separate the wheat from the chaff" and "designate who is worth promoting and marketing". It seems the legacy gatekeepers aren't quite as good at curation as they think—at least I bet Universal is wishing they'd gotten a few more copies of WZRD out there, and put some promotional weight behind the project. Maybe, if they'd put a little faith in their own artist, they could have had a #1 on their hands.

Filed Under: kid cudi, labels, music, promotion, wzrd
Companies: universal music, universal republic

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  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 8 Mar 2012 @ 3:08am

    Re: I'm confused...

    "I'm not sure how many of that 66k were physicals, but it seems like the label was actually in the ballpark on sales forecast."

    Not necessarily. How many of those physical CDs have sold - was it a higher or lower proportion than normal? How many stores that would normally have stocked the CD had nothing? How many sold out, leaving those who wanted a CD and not a download empty handed? How many more could have sold if the numbers of physical stock doubled or were delivered to more stores?

    You could be right, but if nothing else a lack of physical stock in many places would cut down on the chance of impulse buying at minimum. A lack of physical stock would also cut down on free marketing - i.e. a person not aware of the album's release sees it on the shelf, or is attracted by the artwork.

    "Kid CuDi apologizes for not being able to find the CD in stores as if most of his fan base isn't using iTunes. That's just a bit odd. "

    On what are you basing your assumption that they are mostly using iTunes? Do you have more information on the makeup and preferences of his fanbase than Cudi himself?

    "Articles like this do serve to show just how confusing the music industry really is."

    Here, at least, we agree. If artists themselves are annoyed at the labels and can't understand the decisions made on their behalf, the average fan has no chance.

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