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FROM LEAK TO "LOVE"

“Look, in the digital era, songs leak,” says new Interscope head of marketing Matt LaMotte frankly. “Labels have to be agile, flexible, collaborative and communicative in response.”

Team Interscope had an object lesson in the above when “Love,” the new Lana Del Rey single, leaked over the holiday weekend (less than a week after the Grammys). Working closely with label chief John Janick, Vice Chairman Steve Berman, Head of Digital & Revenue Gary Kelly, Polygram topper Tom March and other key players—not to mention the very proactive Del Rey herself—LaMotte ran point on an operation that was both rapid-fire and precise, rolling out the official single worldwide on 2/17 and the video on 2/20.

“That was the most emails I’ve had on any project in my 11 years in the music business,” recalls the marketing exec, who previously served as Del Rey’s product manager on multiple projects. And don’t get him started on the phone calls.

The label, Del Rey and her management team of Ben Mawson and Ed Millett had been laying the groundwork for “Love” as the first look for the artist’s forthcoming album since last year. Fortunately both the movie-style single art and the stylish video were ready. “We worked closely with Lana on the rollout to make sure the messaging was right to fans and digital partners,” LaMotte recalls. “The most important thing was honoring Lana’s vision in the loudest, truest, boldest, most compelling way possible,” even with the very tight turnaround.

The number of moving pieces alone was daunting—including international partners, DSPs, social media, PR, Vevo and plenty more, all organized in a stringent timetable—but the team turned on a dime. On release day, the track hit the Top 5 at iTunes and went Top 10 in 50 countries; when Monday rolled around, the video scored 5 million views in a day, the biggest reaction on any Del Rey clip. Most importantly, says LaMotte, fan reaction was overwhelmingly positive.

Nailing the launch was testimony to “how closely Interscope works with artists,” LaMotte says. “We value Lana’s vision and artistry so much that we wouldn’t approach it any other way, other than teamwork at the highest level.”

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