The prestigious school is home to a group of scholars who are publishing a case study based on — you guessed it — Queen Bey. More specifically, they're studying her now-infamous surprise self-titled album, which dropped in December of last year. And by "dropped," we mean Bey just dropped it on iTunes at midnight and went on her way, while the rest of the world woke up and lost its collective s***.
The study is set to look at how Bey was able to pull off eschewing the standard music industry procedures that come with releasing a new album: advertisements, public appearances, singles, or, you know, maybe even just mentioning it at some point.
The study is being conducted by Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse and her former student, Stacie Smith. It will also be taught as part of a Strategic Marketing in Creative Industries course next month.
"She's clearly among the most powerful people in the music industry at the moment... so to understand the operation behind such a powerful figure is always very interesting," Elberse told the Harvard Gazette. "I think most people regard this release as a huge success artistically, and I am among them. But whether it was worth it from a business perspective is for the students to figure out."
Um, we're going to go with yes. The release was Bey's fifth consecutive record to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. Business Week reports it sold more than 800,000 copies in its first three days, smashing iTunes' previous record for fastest-selling album.
If you don't want to take our word for it, though, that's OK, because those Harvard students are on the case.
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