Marketing and Why Wu-Tang is Only Releasing One Copy of Their New Album

2014-04-16 by Ronn Torossian

new wu tang album
The Wu-Tang Clan recently made headlines by announcing it would only release a single copy of their new album, this from me, 5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian
. Many people immediately started to wonder why in the world the group would do that, but it is actually a genius marketing ploy that is going to bring about all sorts of attention to the new album and most likely increase the number of individuals who obtain digital copies of the music. Of course, there are a few bits of information that need to be noted in order to truly understand why the group is doing this and what exactly it means. 

For starters, yes the group is only releasing a single copy of the album, but this does not mean the group is not going to allow other individuals to obtain their music. After all, if this served as the only actual music release, than the FBI and other authorities would immediately know who ripped the CD and gave a copy to their friends. This is not how it is going to work. The group is still going to sell its music via download through iTunes and other services, so that is not going to be a problem. In fact, when you think about how many individuals actually go out and purchase a CD from the store, that list is probably pretty small. Outside of special deluxe packages, most fans don’t purchase CDs from the store.

So, if everyone can still purchase the music online, what is the big deal? For one, it is now the most valuable collectors item associated with Wu-Tang. And the more rare an item, the more valuable it is. According to Forbes, there are already bids for the CD that are going over $5 million, and the bidding hasn’t even started. This means the single CD could easily reach almost $10 million. That would be the equivalent, value wise, of the album going instant platinum in its first day on sale. So, essentially it would probably make more money by selling a single album than by releasing an unlimited number.

Lastly, how often do you actually pay attention to a single album hitting the shelves? Unless it is your favorite band, you probably don’t really care. However, when a pulls this kind of publicity stunt, everyone takes notice and now, suddenly, the next Wu-Tang album is even bigger than it ever would have been, if they simply sold an unlimited number. This is what I call a great public relations plan.

It was reported that Electronic DJ Skrillex, purchased the album for $5 Million Dollars. Shortly after this announcement, Skrillex’s reps denied the accounts. We want to know; would you shell out the dough for the new project?

About Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations. He is an experienced leader in the public relations industry with over 20 years of experience. Ronn Torossian has been named as Public Relations executive of the year by the American Business Awards, and has run countless award-winning Public Relations programs.

Ronn Torossian: Insights from a Native New Yorker and CEO of 5WPR

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 200 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities