This past December, Beyonce shocked the industry by dropping her fifth album on iTunes with no advance notice, and still managed to rocket to the #1 spot on the charts. The album’s surprise launch resulted in a slew of mainstream press. What you may not have heard is that within days of its release, rock band We the Kings managed to knock Beyonce’s album off the #1 spot on the iTunes charts–due to the millions of fans they’d cultivated on YouTube.
The successes we’re seeing with bands like We The Kings are becoming increasingly common as YouTubers with established audiences use the site to build their brands according to their own vision. When Billboard magazine began including YouTube views in its Hot 100 rankings chart in February 2013, it created new opportunities for music’s Davids to topple traditional industry Goliaths. Read More