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Dreamville Sessions: The Album Cycle Reimagined [Jack Udell]

2Here Jake Udell explores how one artist is reinventing the traditional album cycle by using a marketing a strategy which goes past building anticipation, instead using the groundwork of fan loyalty to propel the release.

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Guest post by Jake Udell of Art of Manager

Study all the time, listen for new albums all the time,

fill up your whole tank with inspiration

and let it flow out how it does.

- J. Cole

Right when it seems like every major marketing activation has already been done, J. Cole and his team execute a plan garnering hype for an album that hasn’t even been created yet!

In an era, where superstar stories dominate the news, the album cycle is whatever the artist and their team can imagine it to be!

Who doesn’t want to hear the music coming from the Dreamville sessions after seeing the official invites to the Revenge of the Dreamers III sessions posted by several major artists on social media? Utilizing a digital flyer in an instagram age is absolutely brilliant. One writer called it a “cultural spectacle”.

J. Cole’s marketing goes beyond building anticipation through great storytelling…  It starts with fan loyalty.

In addition to touring for years straight to ensure all his fans had a chance to see him early in his career, here are some of the great J. Cole activations which have made fans know he truly cares:

Back in 2014, he invited fans to his childhood home for a listening party of his third album, which has his home address as its title.

Back in 2015, he took a break from his nationwide tour to attend a fan’s graduation (a promise he had made two years before via a random twitter DM). He came prepared with a gift of his favorite books and an offer to help her pay her college tuition. 

3To date, J. Cole has done three series of his Dollar and a Dream Tour – Yes, you heard right – A tour for fans with tickets for just $1! What arena act does multiple dates in a row where fans can get tickets for $1? The reward: happy fans and headlines!!!

J. Cole creates powerful moments for fans by pulling off activations never done before, yet still authentic to him.

The Revenge of the Dreamers III is no exception to breaking the rules and creating a new paradigm. When incredible content, great storytelling, and loyalty to fans come together, a superstar is the result.

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