He really is more than a businessman. Jay-Zs partnership with Samsung for his new album,Magna Carta Holy Grail,is another sign of how musicians are finding new ways to push,sell and promote their music,and how the multi-platinum performerwho famously rapped Im not a businessman,Im a business,mancontinues to leverage his enduring popularity into a successful brand.
Jay-Z will give his new album to 1 million users of Galaxy mobile phones on July 4,three days before the albums official
Jay-Zs partnership is just another way artistes are promoting their music at a time when album sales are low and digital market has taken the lead in the music industry.
Jim Donio,the president of the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM),said top-level acts like Jay-Z and Taylor Swift have the power to launch new albums in a spectacular ways. For an artiste whose album release is an event in itself,they carry with them a much wider profile in the marketplace, he said.
In 2011,Lady Gaga sold 440,000 copies of her Born This Way album on Amazon for just 99 cents when it was on sale for two days,helping the album sell 1.1 million in its debut week. Others have also used that trend to sell albums: Last year,Phil Collinss greatest hits jumped into the Top 10 at No. 6its peakwhen it was sold for 99 cents for a day.
Swift,one of the top sellers in music,had her second platinum-debut week with Red last year. Her partnerships for the album included major US retailer Target,drugstore chain Walgreens and Papa Johns (you could order a pizza and a Swift album at the same time.)
Jay-Zs new partnership is one of his many business deals. His Roc Nation agency,which manages Rihanna,Shakira and other musicians,recently expanded into the sports world,and he is now helping the careers of New York Yankee Robinson Cano,New York Jets rookie Geno Smith and others. Jay-Z has launched fashion lines,has a string of 40/40 nightclubs,was also the president of Def Jam and owned part of 1 per cent of the Brooklyn Nets.
Hes also still a consistent hitmaker and a superstar who transcends musicwhich is why Samsung likely partnered with him for his new album.
Billboard said Friday it will not include the 1 million album downloads that Jay-Z is giving to Galaxy phone users through the deal on its chartswhich would have given the album the elite status of debuting with platinum salesbecause Samsung ultimately isnt selling the album on its phones.
Billboard said it wasnt easy turning down Jay-Zs request to include the downloads. The passionate and articulate argument by Jays team that something was for sale and Samsung bought it… doesnt mesh with precedent.