Everybody was still in their development stages at the time Chris Zarou, founder of Visionary Music Group, invited me to United Recording Studios for a listening session. The album was unmastered (the last step in audio production that ensures the quality of each song on all platforms) and some songs were still without guest verses. But the album’s message was clear: to tell the story of a biracial millennial, with narration from Neil Degrasse Tyson.
The album sold 247,000 units its first week. Of those massive sales, 196,000 of those were classified as pure album sales (sales that don’t include streams), and 115,000 of the pure album sales were sold to Logic fans exclusively through AllAboutTheFans.com. The website was an e-commerce store with over 15 products available for purchase, including digital deluxe albums, autographed physical albums, canvas replicas of Everybody’s booklet artwork, t-shirts, and hoodies. Items ranged from $9.98 for an autographed poster to $34.98 for a vinyl edition of the album – all of which sold out.
In 2011, before Def Jam’s involvement, utilizing a direct-to-consumer (D2C) model was the only marketing strategy available to Logic and Visionary Music Group. What the plan lacked sophistication, it made up for in fan accumulation. Though the D2C business model is not a new concept to be employed by rappers, (acts without major label backing, such as Chance the Rapper, have also mastered the craft), it’s been embedded in Visionary Music Group’s business model since its inception.
“We’ve always tried to do things a little bit differently, and think outside of the status quo,” Zarou said. “We really wanted to add value to the consumer, outside of the traditional ‘buy my album’ [campaign]...We wanted to let [the fans] know that we’re thinking about them. We always try to do that.
For Def Jam, their ambitions are similar, with a bit more focus on the financial upside. According to former General Manager and Executive Vice President Faisel Durrani, Def Jam “wanted to test the theory that [Logic’s fans] would make multiple purchases. That’s a very different way for us to think. Normally when we put out an album, we’re looking for a consumer to make one purchase - [the album].”
Logic laid his foundation for his fan base with the Visionary Tour in 2012. He and Zarou used the advance money they received from Def Jam to travel across the country in a rented Nissan Altima and sold merch out of garbage bags.
Now, the garbage bags are a thing of the past. In two months, Logic will be headlining a 29-date tour, where he will be performing in amphitheaters and arenas from Utah to Toronto. In April 2016, Forbes reported Logic brought in approximately $55,000 per show. That fee that has likely increased since co-headlining the Endless Summer tour with G-Eazy.
Although Logic can rest in his success of a No. 1 album, he is still without a Billboard-topping single. This reality is nothing new. In a previous Forbes interview, Logic addressed his minimal presence on terrestrial radio. But it’s no matter. Zarou says, “The fans are [our] biggest advocates.”