At halftime of Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Jay-Z debuted a commercial for his new project, “Magna Carta Holy Grail”
In the three minute commercial, Jay-Z finds himself surrounded by Pharrell, Rick Rubin, Swizz Beats and Timbaland. The quintet can be seen bouncing samples and musical ideas back and forth amongst themselves.
It is then that Jay-Z announces that he will drop his next album on July 4th, less then a month away.
The twist in all of this is that this advert is actually a Samsung commercial. The cell phone heavy weight has purchased 1 million copies of Hova’s new project and will give it away on July 1st, (three days before the release) to the first million Galaxy owners.
The move is brilliant for all three parties involved. Additionally, this new business model could be the punch in the arm that the archaic music industry has long needed.
Jay-Z has long been known for his astute business acumen. Even so, he still managed to out do himself. He has sold 1 million copies a full three weeks before the record is slated to drop. Now that is a hustle.
Galaxy owners meanwhile get to listen to a legal and free copy of Magna Carta. How awesome is that? Normally when you get a free album, it’s from a shitty cover band at your local pub. But this time, it’s from one of the best rappers of all time.
And of course Samsung wins because they are the medium that delivers the project to its users. Talk about it added value.
It’s as if we’re returning to circa 1500 Florence, were wealthy patrons (Samsung) would sponsor the arts (Jay-Z) for the benefit of the public at large.
Finally, the music industry itself could pull out a W in the form of a new way to distribute music AND cut down on piracy. Because the album is downloaded directly into the users smartphone, the chance of piracy is significantly diminished.
It may be too early to tell if this business move is just a trend or if it’s the future of music distribution. But if all three parties do indeed win, then we may be at ground zero of a new digital revolution.