News: 50 Cent's "Before I Self Destruct" iTunes Marketing Exposed, Digital Sales Included W/ 160K Projections

Thursday, Nov 19, 2009 10:45AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

The marketing behind 50 Cent's Before I Self Destruct iTunes strategy has been revealed showing last-minute moves by Interscope's Jimmy Iovine to lessen the damage from the album's global leaks.

According to reports, 50's first-week 160,000 projected sold copies will also include his iTunes sales.

Like an NFL coaching staff making in-game adjustments on the fly, Interscope's Jimmy Iovine and Steve Berman did some last-minute maneuvering around the release of 50 Cent's Before I Self Destruct following worldwide Internet leaks weeks prior to the original street date. In rapid succession, they pushed forward the physical release date from Nov. 23 to Nov. 17 -- the soonest the CD could be manufactured and shipped -- while also working out a one-week exclusive with iTunes for the digital album, to take effect Nov. 10. In return, iTunes agreed to go against its standard policy and "locked" the album, with only the single available a la carte, selling 46k album downloads during the exclusive window. Additionally, the compilers of the charts agreed to include the initial iTunes sales in the total for first week of general release, which is now looking in the 140-150k range. That won't challenge Columbia's John Mayer, now a lock for #1 with 275-300k. (Hits Daily Double)

50's Shady Records boss, Eminem, previously fought off Relapse leaks and used social networks to help the project's marketing.

While Eminem hasn't relied exclusively on Twitter to get the word out, the effort has produced some impressive results. According to Compete, Eminem.com reached 113,868 unique visitors during April, while the most popular of his tweets -- which linked to TheRelapse.com on May 7 -- reached at least 41,704 people within just one week, according to an analysis of data provided to AdAge by Tweetreach. And data provided by Native Digital, the start-up behind music-buzz tracker We Are Hunted, suggest that Eminem was the most-talked-about artist on Twitter last week, the week before the album's release. (AdAge)

50's new album initially debuted at number one on iTunes earlier this month.

50 Cent's Before I Self Destruct, which was yesterday exclusively on the iTunes Store, has already skyrocketed to the number one spot on iTunes' album chart. iTunes customers can purchase the album as a deluxe version with two exclusive tracks and iTunes LP, which includes 90-minute gritty coming-of-age film Before I Self Destruct, written, directed and starring Curtis Jackson (aka 50 Cent); the Two Turntables And A Microphone: The Life And Death Of Jam Master Jay documentary about 50 Cent's late mentor and friend, hip-hop pioneer Jam Master Jay of Run-DMC; exclusive photos; lyrics; animated package artwork and more for only $9.99. (Press Release)

Unfazed by the album leak, Fif previously spoke on his ability to capture the fans' attention with his content on the new record.

"All you gotta do is get the response," Fif explained to radio personality Jenny Boom Boom. "The response is so well, so good, that I know the record is a hit. So whether the consumed it from actually purchasing it or they got it off the web or wherever they got it from, when they hear it and enjoy it, they end up at the show. How can I focus on album sales now when it's to the point where my record is released four weeks before schedule. The marketing, everything that's planned to sell the actual record, is happening four weeks late, now that the record is out a month early. You know, those things are happening after they had an opportunity to hear it and it's confirmation to the doubters that the record wouldn't be good." (Jenny Boom Boom TV)

Check out 50 Cent speaking on the album leak below:

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