‘Run It’ by Chris Brown was a pretty good pop tune, and he was likeable in season four of The OC when he popped up for a few episodes as a band geek who pulled Marissa’s sister with his shy charm. Then he violently beat his girlfriend, has shown little real remorse since, and that’s where my association with him and his music ends.
Not so for his label though, who continue to cheerily market his music to pre-teen girls, hordes of which make up #teambreezy – Chris Brown’s online fan club.
Yesterday, Chris Brown shot out a missive to Team Breezy with strict instructions on how to purchase, stream and promote his album so that he has the best chance of debuting high in the charts.
To be a top-tier supporter of Breezy, you should do the following:
- Buy the album on iTunes on October 31.
- Tweet and Instagram the iTunes link AND the receipt (for some reason).
- Now, DO NOT listen to the copy of the album you purchased, instead…
- Set up a free Spotify or Apple Music account, and listen to the album through this, so the streams count as sales, in addition to your prior purchase.
- Continuously stream the album when not actually listening.
- Send the iTunes AND Spotify AND Apple Music link to ALL your social media accounts.
- Buy MULTIPLE COPIES of the physical album on Nov 3, but make sure they are on separate receipts.
- Move copies of Chris Brown’s CD to a prominent area of the store.
- Include two hashtags with all tweets on the day of release in order to get that puppy trending.
That’s a lot of action points. Now, it’s worth saying he didn’t design this post, but he shared it to his 40.5 million followers. (He doesn’t design his album covers either)
This post isn’t the real chart gaming, though. That would be the obscene length of the record – 45 tracks.
This Pitchfork feature explains in detail the reasons behind the move towards extra long pop and hip hop albums, but basically, it’s all about the streams, and all about the charts.
1,500 song streams counts as one album sale, meaning that a ten song album needs to be listened to 150 times for a sale to register. Chris Brown’s album needs to only be listened to 33.3 times.
The physical sales will further his certifications, too, with each double-disc counting as two sales.
Asking fans to continuously stream the record may not work though; as Billboard state, all streams are “put through an intense vetting process by Nielsen Music, which works closely with each streaming service to assure there are safeguards in place to guard against automated streams and/or excessive streaming from singular IP addresses.”
Now, there may be artistic reasons for Brown releasing a 45 song album, but considering the blunt instructions he shared, and the trend towards these blown out albums at the moment, I’m leaning towards a more cynical reading of the situation.