Skip to main content

Why Big Sean's 'I Decided' Isn't Yet Available in Hard Copy

As we move further into the peak streaming era, more and more artists will employ this strategy.

Last week, for the first time in his career, Big Sean released a full-length album for stream and digital purchase only—physical copies of I Decided won't be available to the public until Friday, February 17. While CD sales have always been a huge first-week boost for Sean, according to a forecast by HDD, his SPS (sales plus streaming) total will still be somewhere in the neighborhood of 140-150k equivalent sales.

In an interview with The Breakfast Club on Thursday (February 9), Sean explained why he decided to not make I Decided available in hard copy at the same time the album was made available on streaming services and iTunes.

"I didn't do that because I didn't want it leaking," said Sean. "And I wanted to work on it as soon as possible. When you do physical albums, you gotta turn it in way before it go to the plants. I aint want to risk that."

We've covered the ordinary, boring truth behind how an album is leaked prior to its scheduled release date, so I won't bore you with the details, but suffice to say, Sean's decision paid off. By foregoing a dual (physical and digital) release for I Decided, Sean was able to work on the album longer and sidestep a leak. 

Scroll to Continue



5 Songs You Need to Hear: Best of the Week

Lil Nas X, Lil Durk, Teni, Ekkstacy, and dhruv released new songs you need to hear — all available for stream on the Audiomack app.


5 New Albums You Need to Hear This Week

Tap into new projects from Giveon, Moelogo, Chucky73, Bils, and Cochise.


“Let It All Out”: An Interview With PGF Nuk

PGF Nuk is the newest prodigy of Chicago drill. He breaks down his career journey for Audiomack World.

R&B singer-songwriter Sampha, who just released his album Process, wasn't as lucky—as a result of turning over his album for physical manufacturing, the 10-track LP leaked two weeks prior to its originally scheduled date.

Sean went on to explain that, for a physical release, an artist must turn over their album approximately one month before its scheduled release date. If the album is only going to be released on streaming services and for digital purchase, however, that timeframe shrinks to "a week or two."

While Sean certainly isn't the first big-name artist to opt for a staggered release—Drake, Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar have all employed this strategy—as we move further into the peak streaming era, it's likely this practice will only rise in popularity.


By Z, who loves to argue with you on Twitter.

Photo Credit: YouTube



Big Sean 'I Decided' 1 Listen Album Review

Big Sean's declaration has been heard loud and clear, and that’s why 'I Decided' is the most important album of his career.


Why Big Sean & Metro Boomin' Made 'Double or Nothing'

They are right, but we're not sure 'Double Or Nothing' was the answer.


Big Sean "Finishing" His Fourth Studio Album, Expectations Are High

A brand new album from the G.O.O.D. Music emcee appears ticketed for a late 2016 release.


"I Gambled My Career": Why Nipsey Hussle Decided to Bet on Himself

"I was going to exist in the space that I can control until I was able to really justify a partnership."


Big Sean is Taking No L's: "Bounce Back" is Certified Gold

The Def Jam emcee already nabbed a new RIAA certification before releasing 'I Decided.'


Eminem Threatens President Trump on Big Sean's "No Favors"

Marshall promises to ruin Trump's brand, but the president will probably continue to do that to himself.