Jay-Z, Samsung Team Up On Exclusive Early Release of 1 Million New Hova Albums

It’s a good day to be a Samsung user …

Jay-Z, revisiting his innovative marketing tactics, has partnered up with Samsung for a downloadable pre-release of his new album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” due July 4th. The deal, which mirrors his strategy with his 2003 release, “The Black Album,” allows Samsung users to download 1 million copies of the album 72 hours before the rest of the world. With “The Black Album” though, it was Nokia users who were getting the exclusive access — what a difference a decade makes.

Samsung, who paid Hova $5 apiece for 1 million copies of his forthcoming album, will have, if Soundscan counts the promotion, made “Magna Carta Holy Grail” a platinum album without a single marketing dollar spent by the record label. If the move pays off — and Twitter is positively crackling over the impending release, so it seems like it will — it sets the stage for future promotional tie-ins and new means of both product and artist promotion.

The new record was announced during halftime of Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night with a tragic Samsung commercial that featured the likes of Jay-Z, Swiss Beatz, Timbaland, Pharrell and music superproducer Rick Rubin chilling in a recording studio. I say tragic because so much of Jay-Z’s cred is hinged on that stoic, unsmiling personality of his. To see him tooling about, clowning in the studios, pretending to play the piano — it presents a side of Jay best left to the cutting room floor. Its like when word leaked out that Vin Diesel was actually kind of a big Dungeons & Dragons nerd — it’s just not what I want to know. And how about letting a barefoot, hobo-looking Rick Rubin anywhere near that commercial? Yeesh.


Awful commercial or not though, Samsung and Jay-Z have teamed up to bring the hype, and based on the over 1.8 million YouTube views the promo has already received in less than 24 hours, folks, the hype has been brought.