It’s 2015—Do Album Leaks Still Matter?


After news broke yesterday that Justin Bieber’s highly anticipated album, Purpose, leaked, the Twittersphere went crazy.

After months of being on an apology tour, revealing a kinder, sensitive and mature side to his personality and dropping fire singles that the collective music world loved, it’s all amounted to…the album leaking two days early.

Many Beliebers have taken to Twitter, urging REAL fans to not share or listen to the leaked tracks.

But in an digital music age where everything is bought, shared and streamed online, is an early album leak still the end of the world?

For Taylor Swift, it might have been. A few days before the official release date of 1989, the Shake It Off singer—notoriously known for being a stickler about artists getting paid—told Chatty Man host Alan Carr that she would “have a meltdown” if 1989 leaked. This became a self-fulfilling prophecy and the album was released online three days before its scheduled drop.

But then, there are artists on the other side of the spectrum–ones who will purposely share their content before the album’s due date. Daft Punk made Random Access Memories available for steaming a week before its release date. Miley Cyrus released her weird, label-less Miley And Her Dead Petz for free on SoundCloud. Rappers share free downloadable mixtapes all the time.

In these situations, it didn’t seem like the albums leaking early affects their commercial success–Random Access Memories went on to sell 3 million copies and won Album of the Year at the Grammys. Even Yeezus himself can’t escape leaks. Kanye’s 2014 record leaked and still went platinum.

Many news sources have already reported on the Purpose leak, adding even more hype to the already huge buzz surrounding it. There’s a lot riding on this one. While the leak might have thrust the album into the news, there still is a chance the album might flop. Not everyone might buy into the Bieber Renaissance.

Bieber might end up asking himself which is more important, making headlines or making money? But in this case, if the tracks he himself has already released are any indication, it’s likely that he won’t have to decide between the two.

Watch the video for I’ll Show You below.