With Samsung, Jay-Z’s business continues to boom
He really is more than a businessman.
Jay-Z’s 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 multiplatinum performer - who famously rapped "I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man" - continues 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 album’s official release date. The 43-year-old broke the news about his twelfth album in a three-minute commercial during the NBA Finals.
Details about the Samsung-Jay-Z deal, announced Sunday, weren’t disclosed and both parties did not grant interviews.
But Jay-Z’s partnership is just another way artists are promoting their music at a time when album sales are low and the digital market has taken the lead in the music industry.
Jim Donio, 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 spectacular ways with various partners.
"For an artist whose album release is an event in itself ... they carry with them a much wider profile in the marketplace that they speak to, so their audience and all the things that they do affords these unique opportunities," 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, though not in its debut week: Last year, Phil Collins’ greatest hits jumped into the Top 10 at No. 6 - its peak - when it was sold for 99 cents for a day. And Bruno Mars’ "Doo-Wop & Hooligans" and Demi Lovato’s "Unbroken" both jumped about 100 spots on the Billboard chart when they were on sale for 99 cents months after they were released.
Taylor Swift, one of the top sellers in music, had her second platinum-debut week with "Red" last year. Her partnerships for the album included Target, Walgreens and Papa John’s (you could order a pizza and a Swift album at the same time).
"Even if you didn’t purchase the CD, her face was still on the pizza box," Donio said.