Image Source:  Ivy Park

Image Source: Ivy Park

Since Beyoncé’s Superbowl 2016 half-time show performance where she strutted onto the field, sang her new song ‘Formation’ and announced her World Tour, fans have been waiting on tenterhooks for her latest album.

To add to the speculation, interest and intrigue, there have been rumours of leaked track lists, artist collaborations, 'confirmed' release dates and the firm insistence that Beyoncé would not have announced a new world tour without a new album to back it. Thousands of Beyoncé lovers worldwide have been on “Bey-watch”, refreshing news sites, her website and social channels waiting for the next snippet of information.

With release dates coming and going, no whispers of new tracks hitting the airwaves, and Beyoncé’s camp staying mum on the release date, there’s one question the Neon Black team are asking of Beyoncé. Has the queen of pop culture become the victim of her own hype machine?

Despite the heady anticipation, Beyoncé didn’t release her album on the 1st of April. Nor did it drop on any of the other suspected release dates. Here’s why: She doesn’t want to cannibalise her own media coverage and fall victim to her own success.

Beyoncé and her media and PR teams are working 24/7 to release her album, generate more publicity, sell tickets for her world tour, subscriptions for streaming site Tidal (guaranteed to be the exclusive streaming location for her newest album) and branded merchandise. This all happens without skipping a beat.

Strategically Beyoncé’s PR people have it right. They’ve taken the excitement from the Beyhive to line up a worldwide exclusive media deal with Elle Magazine, who executed a countdown to 1st April with clues linking to Beyoncé. This big ‘announcement’ wasn’t the expected album; instead a vehicle to launch her new Ivy Park leisurewear label, thwarting keen eyed fans and amateur detectives everywhere.

With Ivy Park set to go on sale on 14th April in the US (15th April here in Australia), Beyoncé is in a position where shifting the interest in Ivy Park to a new album could be incredibly detrimental to the brands success. She’s up against the likes of Kylie Jenner with legions of worldwide fans waiting online to purchase her re-stocked Lip Kits that sell out in a matter of minutes. In a world where popularity is currency and product diversity is mandatory, Beyoncé has to fight hard to compete with the current leaders of the pack, while also not competing with herself by pitting her products against her music.

So the Neon Black prediction? Beyoncé’s album release will occur after the Ivy Park range achieves record sales. After celebs and scenesters are spotted splashing around at star studded events flaunting Ivy Park. After every relevant media outlet worldwide covers the story. It’s a game of maximum exposure and high level publicity and it’s a game Beyoncé knows how to play well.

Media, fans and the hype machine thrive on new news. When every step you make is being watched, analysed and monitored, Beyoncé and her team can’t afford to put a Christian Louboutin clad foot wrong.

Like a firework the Beyoncé machine will allow Ivy Park to launch and explode, waiting for the initial fascination and intrigue to die. Then the stage will be clear for her next “surprise” album; assuming, of course, there even is one...

Neon Black are a PR Agency based in Australia with clients in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Los Angeles. While the Neon Black team might not have looked after Beyoncé, they have expertise and experience dealing with media, celebrities and everybody in between and know how to achieve great publicity and results.

To chat with the Neon Black team about their theories on Beyoncé, the ‘Formation’ World Tour or to find out more about how they might create a PR strategy for your business, simply holla at us.