Marketing Genius Of Kanye West


Is Kanye West an amazing marketer? Well, the release of his album ‘Donda’ definitely says so. Pushing the album release date multiple times, hosting three grand listening parties, and inviting celebrity singers just added to the already awaited launch. And yeah, West earned millions of dollars even before the launch of the album! Read the story for more.

Crux of the Matter

The Release Of Donda
Kanye West’s highly anticipated 10th studio album Donda was released on 29th August 2021. Just saying that it got great numbers is an understatement.

Records Set
Records set within 24 hrs of its release on Apple Music:

  • It got 60 million streams in the US alone, highest so far in 2021 and third highest till date.

  • The album topped Apple Music’s most streamed albums charts in 152 countries.

  • West was the most streamed artist of Apple Music.

  • He took 19 out of top 20 spots on Daily Top 100 Global songs chart published by the Apple Music.

  • The album had ~94 million streams on Spotify.

The reason behind such ridiculously great numbers? Well surely the album is good, but is that all? Definitely not! The marketing genius behind the entire launch is worth knowing.

The Marketing Strategy
The 27 track album was released last week, but the entire release “event” lasted for more than a month. West held his first listening party on 22nd July, at Mercedes Benz stadium, Atlanta. Roughly 42,000 fans attended, with each paying between $25 to $100 per ticket.

Instead of an immediate album launch, a second listening event was held in Atlanta on 5th August. Reportedly, Kanye earned ~$4 million via these listening parties.

A final third listening party was held on 26th August in West’s hometown, Chicago.

Nothing summarises this better than this tweet:

West within two days of Donda’s release had already earned ~$7 mn from album merchandise sale alone.

Marketing Stunts

  • He allegedly remarried his divorced wife Kim on stage days before launch of Donda.

  • West collaborated with controversial musicians like DaBaby, Marilyn Manson, etc for Donda.

  • He got the paparazzi and industry talking about Donda via promos by celebrities, NBA players, etc after listening parties.

All the above mentioned marketing stunts resulted not only in mass marketing but revenue even before the release of the album.


Donda is named after Kanye West’s mother Donda West. Kanye West also owns a creative content company named Donda.

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