Aaron Borns, head of pop/rock marketing, RCA: Al's entire career has been built on spectacular marketing, and having his finger on the pulse of popular culture.
"Weird Al" Yankovic: I wanted to make release week an event. It was just an idea. A part of my nightmare was three days into it, people would say, "Enough already, this is too much!" But the reverse happened. It created a snowball effect.
'Weird Al' Yankovic Gets First No. 1 Album On Billboard 200 with 'Mandatory Fun'
Tom Corson, president/COO, RCA: The rollout essentially was a visual album, to borrow a phrase from Beyoncé.
Yankovic: On my previous album, Alpocalypse, there was a video for every single song. So I did not pull a Beyoncé. If anything, Beyoncé pulled a Weird Al. (Laughs.)
Billboard 2014 Year in Music: See All of Our Coverage Here!
Jay Levey, manager: Beyoncé did not have a portal partner approach. That was key in harnessing the web community.
Yankovic: Not only did we not pay a penny out of pocket, we got far more exposure than we would have normally.
'Weird Al' Yankovic's Top 10 Biggest Billboard Hits
Corson: The social aspect allowed people to share the excitement. But they didn't have to put down their money and buy the album -- they could've just enjoyed it online. But they voted for Al, and they bought in because it was awesome.
2014's No. 1's: J Balvin & Farruko | Idina Menzel & the 'Frozen' Soundtrack | Tove Lo, Kiesza, & Nick Jonas | Taylor Swift | Barbra Streisand | Weird Al Yankovic | Ed Sheeran & Charli XCX | Nicki Minaj | 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Soundtrack | Enrique Iglesias | Kacey Musgraves | Santana | Sam Smith | Iggy Azalea | Jason Derulo | Meghan Trainor, Nico & Vinz
This article first appeared in the Dec. 20 issue of Billboard.