The 24 hour publicity system of the 21st Century goes something like this for a Taylor Swift:
1. Tour Ends
2. Stories about recording songs
3. Album teasers.
4. Early song release.
5. More songs released.
6. Album release.
7. Tour info
8. Rumors about song writing.
10. Write songs
And repeat every two years. That's how the pros do it, but both David Bowie and Justin Timberlake took the music biz by surprise when they dropped long, long, like GNR long awaited new songs from upcoming albums and with very minimum pre-release publicity. Justin gave a countdown on his website to Mondays release of "Suit & Tie" and Bowie gave nothing at all except gag orders to everybody who played on his album.
It is the difference between suspense and surprise and in a world of suspense, where you have to keep the audiences appetite whetted, surprise is a powerful tool only the biggest stars can actually use! The shock of the Bowie song being released was so big it seemed to stop the music world mid-revolution and in the midst of the dead of winter with nothing much happening any way, the story took everybody's breath away.
The Timberlake wasn't as big but it wasn't nothing either. The world had just about given up on him doing much more than being an OK actor and now, after two terrific albums in ten years, he is an OK singer as well.
Neither of the songs are all that but neither are disasters either. But were helped tremendously by a campaign of silence, the new meme: Say Nothing.