Frank Ocean releases new album 'Blonde' as Apple Music exclusive

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited August 2016
Two days after dropping a "visual album" called "Endless," Frank Ocean on Saturday debuted his hotly anticipated album "Blond" -- "Blonde" on Apple Music and iTunes -- as a two-week windowed exclusive on Apple's streaming music service.




Ocean's sophomore effort, previously referred to as "Boys Don't Cry," follows up the well-received "Channel Orange" that won the R&B singer multiple Grammy nods and a win for Best Urban Contemporary Album of the Year in 2012.

Anticipation for Ocean's latest album reached fever pitch this week when the artist released the 45-minute visual album "Endless" on Thursday through Apple Music. Hours prior to today's streaming release, a music video for the track "Nikes" hit Apple's streaming service.

A veritable who's who of music icons are listed as contributors in the liner notes, including Andre 3000, James Blake, Beyonc?, David Bowie, Brian Eno, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, Kanye West and many more.

"Blonde" will remain an Apple Music exclusive for two weeks, while customers can purchase the album or individual tracks from iTunes. As a bonus, Beats 1 was streaming Ocean's album earlier today. In addition to digital availability, pop-up shops in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and London handed out free copies of a "Boys Don't Cry" art magazine containing the 17-track "Blonde" album on CD, The New York Times reports.

"I had the time of my life making all of this. Thank you all. Especially those of you who never let me forget I had to finish. Which is basically every one of y'all," Ocean said on his official Tumblr page.



Ocean's album is the latest win for Apple Music, a relative newcomer to the streaming music industry. In a bid to woo subscribers, competitors have increasingly turned to "windowed exclusives," or releases that are offered on a single service for a set period of time.

To help sway top talent toward Apple Music, the company offers to collaborate with artists on in-house produced videos and other experimental content, like Ocean's "Endless" visual album and, presumably, "Nikes." The strategy is apparently effective, as Apple Music has nabbed exclusives from Chance the Rapper, Drake, Eminem, Pharrell and more.

Most recently, Apple won exclusive streaming rights Britney Spears' upcoming album "Glory," which is set to debut later this month.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    "Blond" is an adjective for men, while "blonde" is an adjective for women. In some languages, like French, many adjectives have an E added at the end for female nouns. In English blond/blonde is the only word that is modified like that. So for example you wouldn't say "Daniel Craig is a blonde Bond" (although there are always some reporters who can't spell.) Craig is a "blond Bond".
    baconstangbadmonk
  • Reply 2 of 17
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    How is this a "win"? Windowed exclusives shouldn't even be called exclusives.

    2 weeks?! How many people will have the time to switch vs. those who will wait because they have over 2 weeks left in their current subscription?
    cropr
  • Reply 3 of 17
    dougddougd Posts: 281member
    Never heard of Frank Ocean
    rotateleftbyteapple ][SpamSandwich
  • Reply 4 of 17
    cali said:
    How is this a "win"? Windowed exclusives shouldn't even be called exclusives.

    2 weeks?! How many people will have the time to switch vs. those who will wait because they have over 2 weeks left in their current subscription?

    People don't always get Apple.  It's been that way for many decades and I'm sure they're used to it.  May I recommend trusting them that they know what they're doing.
    ronn
  • Reply 5 of 17
    xmhillxxmhillx Posts: 109member
    Who
    apple ][baconstang
  • Reply 6 of 17
    xmhillx said:
    Who
    Frank Ocean. 

    It's ok if you've never heard of him. The entertainment industry is full of talented, award-winning folks across many genres who appeal to different audiences. Many of whom I've never heard of either.
    SpeaksDolphinronnlolliverbestkeptsecret
  • Reply 7 of 17
    xmhillxxmhillx Posts: 109member
    xmhillx said:
    Who
    Frank Ocean. 

    It's ok if you've never heard of him. The entertainment industry is full of talented, award-winning folks across many genres who appeal to different audiences. Many of whom I've never heard of either.
    Yeah, true. Though, hearing the name Frank Ocean made me think he was someone like Frank Sinatra. Older guy, old-timey music, or something like that. I was like "oh, is this like Johny Cash coming out with a new album in his late ages?" Had no idea Frank Ocean was a 28 year old rapper lol
    coolfactor
  • Reply 8 of 17
    xmhillx said:
    Who
    Frank Ocean. 

    It's ok if you've never heard of him. The entertainment industry is full of talented, award-winning folks across many genres who appeal to different audiences. Many of whom I've never heard of either.
    Exactly. If you've never heard of him or don't know who he is, then you really don't know much about the music scene. In the time it took for you to post "Who", you could have Googled his name and not have to celebrate your ignorance. Sorry for the rant but people that post "who" or "never heard of" are just self righteous morons.
    goodbyeranchronnlollivercrowley
  • Reply 9 of 17
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    cali said:
    How is this a "win"? Windowed exclusives shouldn't even be called exclusives.

    2 weeks?! How many people will have the time to switch vs. those who will wait because they have over 2 weeks left in their current subscription?

    People don't always get Apple.  It's been that way for many decades and I'm sure they're used to it.  May I recommend trusting them that they know what they're doing.
    You don't understand the point of exclusives.
  • Reply 10 of 17
    mobiusmobius Posts: 378member
    Frank Ocean. 

    It's ok if you've never heard of him. The entertainment industry is full of talented, award-winning folks across many genres who appeal to different audiences. Many of whom I've never heard of either.
    Exactly. If you've never heard of him or don't know who he is, then you really don't know much about the music scene. In the time it took for you to post "Who", you could have Googled his name and not have to celebrate your ignorance. Sorry for the rant but people that post "who" or "never heard of" are just self righteous morons.
    The "music scene", as you call it, is really too vast for such a statement to be true. It is simply impossible to be in the know about every artist - even within one genre of music that would be tough.

    These days, with the utter saturation of every conceivable style of music, to say you've never heard of someone who is purportedly famous isn't saying much. Fame is a relative term. There are countless "famous" Youtubers, Vine artists, and Instagramers that will remain unknown to most people outside of that bubble.
    xmhillxstevehbaconstanglamboaudi4
  • Reply 11 of 17
    cali said:

    People don't always get Apple.  It's been that way for many decades and I'm sure they're used to it.  May I recommend trusting them that they know what they're doing.
    You don't understand the point of exclusives.
    Please, enlighten us.  What's the point of exclusives that I, and Apple, don't understand?
    edited August 2016
  • Reply 12 of 17
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,535member
    xmhillx said:
    Frank Ocean. 

    It's ok if you've never heard of him. The entertainment industry is full of talented, award-winning folks across many genres who appeal to different audiences. Many of whom I've never heard of either.
    Yeah, true. Though, hearing the name Frank Ocean made me think he was someone like Frank Sinatra. Older guy, old-timey music, or something like that. I was like "oh, is this like Johny Cash coming out with a new album in his late ages?" Had no idea Frank Ocean was a 28 year old rapper lol

    Yah, that "Nikes" song has tremendous potential. Unique mix of sounds, but terrible lyrics and that video... words can't describe... women as objects anyone?

    If someone can explain to me why this song is good, I'm all ears. Really.
  • Reply 13 of 17
    Frank Ocean. 

    It's ok if you've never heard of him. The entertainment industry is full of talented, award-winning folks across many genres who appeal to different audiences. Many of whom I've never heard of either.
    Exactly. If you've never heard of him or don't know who he is, then you really don't know much about the music scene. In the time it took for you to post "Who", you could have Googled his name and not have to celebrate your ignorance. Sorry for the rant but people that post "who" or "never heard of" are just self righteous morons.
    (c)rap is the very last music genre I want to listen to. Why should I even be the slightest bit interested in that sort of music when I have plenty of good tunes to listen to in other genre's?
    As for that artwork, the picture of a man with his head in his hands seems to portray 'Oh god that is shit'. That does not even begin to entice me into that genre.
    OTOH, if you are into this stuff then I am 99.9999% sure that you won't be interested in the stuff I am.
    I play the Trombone in a Trad Jazz band. Interested? Thought not.
    Horses for courses.

  • Reply 14 of 17
    No relation to Billy Ocean.
  • Reply 15 of 17
    croprcropr Posts: 961member
    cali said:
    How is this a "win"? Windowed exclusives shouldn't even be called exclusives.

    2 weeks?! How many people will have the time to switch vs. those who will wait because they have over 2 weeks left in their current subscription?
    Indeed, I do not understand the business rationale of this 2 week exclusivity.  The artist has a reduced airplay for his music, so less people will hear his music and as a consequence buy it. For Apple, 2 weeks is too short to have impact on switchers.
     
  • Reply 16 of 17
    jSnivelyjSnively Posts: 329administrator
    tallguy said:
    No relation to Billy Ocean.
    Sadly no. I did manage to work a Billy Ocean reference into a review once though.
  • Reply 17 of 17
    hittrj01hittrj01 Posts: 753member
    cropr said:
    cali said:
    How is this a "win"? Windowed exclusives shouldn't even be called exclusives.

    2 weeks?! How many people will have the time to switch vs. those who will wait because they have over 2 weeks left in their current subscription?
    Indeed, I do not understand the business rationale of this 2 week exclusivity.  The artist has a reduced airplay for his music, so less people will hear his music and as a consequence buy it. For Apple, 2 weeks is too short to have impact on switchers.
     
    I can't say for sure obviously,  but it seems like Apple is playing the long game here with these exclusives. They don't seem to care about the actual exclusives, just the perception of them. If they're able to promote exclusives every time a new album comes out, they build a reputation that someone needs Apple Music if they want to listen to all the music they want to. For me personally, I couldn't care less if Taylor Swift, Drake, or Frank Ocean are only on Apple Music. My wife, however, has to get her T Swift fix. And, it does make me wonder who else is only on Apple Music in genres that I prefer, and that makes me stay instead of switch to Spotify, for example. So in my case, at least, it appears that their marketing is working, even though the actual music they're advertising doesn't always interest me.
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