Travis Scott Used a Genius Merchandise Plan to Conquer Billboard Charts
Nicki Minaj has been making enemies left and right recently. It seems she upset Cardi B so much that she threw a shoe at her, but that's not the story that has our attention this week. According to GQ, Nicki Minaj has been targeting Travis Scott's album sales in her latest Twitter rant.
Minaj recently released her new album "Queen," which made it to the No. 2 spot on the Billboard charts. It was Scott's new album "Astroworld" that nabbed the No. 1 spot, and the self-proclaimed Queen was less than thrilled. Instead of crediting Travis' talents as a musician for the rankings, she came to the conclusion that Kylie Jenner and Travis' merchandise rollout were the key reasons. (Jenner because she tweeted about the merch.)
For his latest album, Travis decided to put together a winning alliance: merchandise and music. For nine straight days, Travis released new merchandise on his website every 24 hours. The merchandise items ranged from graphic sweatshirts to ashtrays, crates and dad caps.
You guys gotta cop this astroworld merch🔥😍 pic.twitter.com/MSqrT4qAuc
— LMAO (@IGpondpuck) July 31, 2018
The items were a huge hit, but it was the final day's release that was a true home run. Scott enlisted famed designer Virgil Abloh to create a white T-shirt with an action figure-inspired graphic of himself. Minaj claimed that the rapper sold 200,000 pieces of apparel in the first week, but it was what sold with the merchandise that upset her.
Every time someone bought a piece of merchandise, they were also given a digital copy of "Astroworld." He also sold VIP passes to this tour. With all these album sales and VIP packages sold, the numbers pushed Scott's album past Minaj's album. Supposedly Minaj was convincing enough in her argument that Billboard might even change the rules:
I looked at the numbers the Carters, Kanye, Nas, etc recently did. Travis sold 200K in his first week of clothes alone. I spoke to him last night & he said he’s been selling clothes b4 the music. Billboard says they’ll change the rules cuz of this, so it should be changed now!
— QUEEN (@NICKIMINAJ) August 19, 2018
Whichever side you're on in this Twitter feud, one thing's for sure: Merchandise is king. A good apparel campaign can earn an artist the No. 1 spot on the Billboard charts, which is huge for musicians trying to recoup album sales lost to streaming sites or pirated downloads. Scott also took a lot of risks with his campaign, selling items like ashtrays and pool slides, but these days, everyone loves exclusivity, no matter what is actually on sale.