Earlier this week Nicki Minaj, the Trinidad-born R&B star, deleted her Twitter account after becoming angry at her music being leaked online. Following a post by fan site ‘Nicki Daily’, which allegedly leaked tracks from her album, and some unsavoury comments from some of her other Twitter followers, the musician decided enough was enough and closed down her account. Bold statement or PR manoeuvre? Here are some reason why it feels like the latter:
She has 11 million followers. Piracy or no piracy, 11 million engaged, adoring fans is too much lose. In a world of declining CD sales, access to digital music has become all the more important, and Twitter is often the medium through which fans experience, advocate and share Minaj’s music. Executives at Minaj’s ‘Young Money’ record label would not allow her to cut off this hugely lucrative and profile raising mouth-piece for her music.
Nicki Minaj has got Klout. Nearly 50% of all tweets on Twitter now contain links – for Minaj, this equates to at least 5.5 million people sharing her music on a regular basis. This blog recently posted that Minaj’s Klout (a software that measures the influence of people on Twitter) score was 92% – only 2% less than Lady Gaga’s. This means that her fan base are actually engaged with her via Twitter, not just passive spectators. A Klout score of 92% means that those 11 million fans were opening her links, looking at her pics and responding to her Tweets. This also means they are more than likely to be buying her music through some means or other.
Getting to No.1 is hard, staying there is harder. At the time of deleting her account, Minaj’s album ‘Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded’ was No.1 in the Billboard charts and No.2 in the UK album charts. In the music industry, you’re only number one until something better comes along which, invariably, it always does. It is a case of how long can you keep your usurpers at bay. The best way to do this is to keep yourself in the news.
This is a well trodden path. Nicki Minaj isn’t the first celebrity to quit Twitter in the heat of the moment. Remember when Stephen Fry threw his toys out of the pram after being mis-quoted in an interview? Remember who returned triumphantly to a larger fan base? Yep.
Summer’s coming. Minaj is touring the UK’s main cities this summer aswell as playing a selection of the main festivals -including, amusingly, Wireless. Ordinarily she would be communicating with fans ahead of her gigs. Can she resist NOT doing this and missing out on building hype ahead of what should be a sell out tour?
Nicki Minaj has got 30 days to return to Twitter before her account is gone forever. Tick-Tock.