You’ve probably seen the commercials featuring Jay-Z talking about Samsung by now. He’s chilled out and looking happy, relaxed and talking about life. I will be the first one to say that I love Jay-Z and what he’s done for music, where to even start?! But it comes as a surprise that he’s been doing an exclusive album released to Samsung first. To get the album people had to download an app on their phone first, millions got it for free. What impact will have on the recording industry? One must wonder, what’s Samsung getting out of this? My theory is they get to feel cool. Android is hot and happening, but let’s be honest here – Apple still owns cool on mobile. The slick startups building mobile apps in San Francisco seem most focused on the iPhone first, because it’s a bit sexier to them.
In addition to the coolness factor, I do believe that Samsung wants to show HTC and others that they are the leader. By taking a well respected leader in the music industry (on the heels of Twitter music announcement) and making him the face, they’re saying to their competition that they’re the big boss, apple sauce.
All over the web on Tuesday was news that the exclusive album has been leaked to HTC. Wow! Who do you think is behind that? Who would really care if the album is to come out next? HTC sure would. I’m not suggesting they were behind the hack in any way, but I’m sure they’re not exactly hating it…
HTC is not the first and only to take notice, either. The RIAA has been watching and gone so far as to declare that this ‘stunt’ is going to change the rules. This move by the RIAA is an interesting one, but also a desperate attempt for the recording industry to wrap its’ head around mobile distribution.
Another interesting thing about the Jay-Z Samsung commercial is that Rick Ruben was prominently featured… He had nothing to do with the creation of the album, he’s been helping Kanye West. Although to be fair, Rick Ruben and Jay-Z have worked together since 2004.
No matter what the outcome, Jay-Z and Samsung garnered significant attention with this recent move. Mobile marketers everywhere will be watching to see how this plays out.