Danny Rukasin and Brandon Goodman co-manage Billie Eilish and they have been talking to MBW about the stealth development underpinning her career and how her debut album – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? – is having to work in the streaming and playlisting era.
“While playlists drive single consumption, albums can be put together in a specific way where if you have the right artist and if it’s the right time, albums become a new ‘playlist’,” is how Rukasin views it. Goodman adds that tracks being worked across multi playlists was the longer strategy but it was all leading to an album as a culmination of that work as well as being a statement in and of itself. “I think people need to remember that Billie was releasing music for three and a half years before she released a full length album,” he says. “We waited until the demand was there for an album to be consumed by her fans as we continued to build the story of her as an artist.”
They are both keen to not just treat this as a streaming success and, ergo, a symptom of a generational shift in music consumption. They cite the importance of radio in terms of accelerating her career. It all hooks into a wider point about mega-acts having to dominate across all formats (physical and digital) as well as across all media outlets, not just social media, in order to be globally successful.