Drake “technically” gave us his annual summer project with Care Package, a 17-track collection of one-off singles and b-sides. These songs are all cult classics in Drake’s back catalog. Fans love them, and Drake knows that fans love them. Today, Drake is likely basking in the glory of all the fans who are saying “this is Drake’s classic album!” (To be fair though, this is a greatest hits compilation of one-off mixtape singles. Greatest hits can’t be considered a classic. Those are the rules. I didn’t make them.)
The songs on Care Package had been relegated to YouTube, DatPiff, and SoundCloud for years. Fans can now add these songs to playlists on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, and everywhere else.
From @champagnepapi himself:
“Some of our most important moments together available in one place. Care Package. 🦉”
This is Drake’s second re-release of 2019. In February, he put on So Far Gone on its 10th anniversary, which prompted me to write How Rappers Can Maximize Their Mixtape Anniversaries:
So Far Gone’s anniversary rollout is a model for others to follow with their memorable mixtapes. The 32-year-old’s fans now want him to go on tour and exclusively play his old music. It’s a bankable opportunity that has helped other artists solidify their fanbase.
The monetization opportunity still holds, but Care Package is not an anniversary. Once the samples got cleared–which I assume Drake did months ago–he could have released these tracks whenever.
But Drake chose to release this today for a few reasons. First, OVO Fest is this weekend. Now that the samples are cleared, Drake can perform these songs at his festival. These soft “signing Drake” tracks on Care Package will fit nicely with the Millennium Tour artists performing at OVO Fest (B2K, Lloyd, Mario, and Bobby V). And since the samples are cleared, we will likely see social media clips of Drake performing “Club Paradise” or “Paris Morton Music” and other memorable tracks at OVO. That will build anticipation for fans who have been asking Drake to do a “B-Sides only” concerts.
Second, Drake dropped this weekend because there’s limited competition. Care Package might not reach #1 on the Billboard 200 charts, but it still dominated the hip-hop discussion for the past 24 hours. He didn’t have to put Care Package against Chance The Rapper’s The Big Day, Dreamville’s Revenge of the Dreamers III, or the other big albums that came out in July.
The timing served Drake’s interests, but he also did it out of respect thing for other artists. Can you imagine how Chance would have reacted if Drake dropped Care Package on the same day that The Big Day came out?? He would never forgive Drake. Chance has been waiting to drop this “debut album” for a while. The last thing Chance wants is to be bested by an album that includes Drake’s memorable line from 2014’s “Draft Day”:
“And if I left shit to chance I would’ve picked a name like Chance the Rapper
No offense cause I don’t know that nigga.”
The most intriguing thing about Care Package though, are the songs that didn’t make it. He still has “9am in Dallas,” “We Made It,” and others that are technically on deck. I expect that Drake will compile these songs for a future project with their own thematic release.
Spotify Just Missed Its Projection with 108 Million Subscribers (Variety)
Spotify’s Q2 2019 subscriber numbers fell below its target by 500,000. On the investor call, Spotify’s CFO Barry McCarthy attributed the shortfall to a student promotion campaign and clarified that it was not “softness in the business.” As Spotify’s average revenue per user continues to drop, it highlights how reliant subscriber growth targets are on aggressive, introductory promotional offers—which subscribers can still cancel before the trial period is over!
In related news, The Athletic announced it crossed the 500,000 subscribers threshold. Like Spotify, The Athletic has also had its fair share of steep introductory offers to lure in customers. Both companies justify these offers with favorable customer acquisition cost / lifetime value calculations (and pay less attention to profitability and revenue). It’s understandable, but the unit economics still need to add up—whether it’s Spotify’s ARPU dropping below $5.00, The Athletic not earning enough revenue to cover its writers’ salaries, or any other subscription media business.
All the Music Festivals That Have Been Cancelled in 2019 (Billboard)
You all knew that Woodstock 50 was getting canceled (because you’ve been reading Trapital, obviously!). Late planning, investors backing out, and lack of alignment with city officials put an end to the 50th anniversary festival. This week, Billboard did a good recap on 10 festivals that got canceled this year. Here’s a recap of why the other nine got cancelled. Weather is the most common reason:
- Weather: higher-than-average water levels, heatwave, heatwave, rain, rain
- Security: fear of ICE raids, fraud
- Personnel: artist cancellation
- Demand: low ticket sales
Apple Rebranding its Playlists (Billboard)
For years, Apple Music’s marquee playlists were called “The A-List: (inset genre of music here)”. It was practical, yes, but did nothing for the brand identity and playlist marketing. A-List: Hip-Hop is now ‘Rap Life,’ and A-List: Alternative is now ‘ALT CTRL,’ which Apple says will have “left-of-center tunes.”
Left-of-center? So is Billie Eilish gonna drop a track about the 2020 election??
Jokes aside, the branding makes sense. Spotify has done a good job putting RapCaviar on the map. The playlist has its own concert series. Apple Music should be able to do something similar.