1m Samsung Galaxy users to get Jay-Z’s new album for free

18 Jun 2013

Still from 'Inside "Magna Carta Holy Grail" with JAY Z + Samsung' by Samsung Mobile USA on YouTube

In a collaboration between the South Korean mobile device manufacturer and the rap mogul from Brooklyn, select Samsung handset owners will be given the opportunity to get Jay-Z’s forthcoming album three days ahead of its official release, free of charge.

Magna Carta Holy Grail is Jay-Z’s first solo album since The Blueprint 3 in 2009, which was followed by a collaboration with Kanye West in 2011 dubbed Watch the Throne.

A three-minute ad for the album that aired during an NBA finals match-up between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night showed Jay-Z in the studio with familiar faces such as Timbaland and Pharrell Williams, as well as some recognisable devices from Samsung.

The album’s website now reveals that Samsung Galaxy S4, S III and Note II users will be the first offered the chance to hear Magna Carta Holy Grail through a dedicated app to be released by Samsung on 24 June.

The app, which will be available on Google Play, will give users the opportunity download the album from 12.01am ET on 4 July, 72 hours before its on-sale release. The first 1m users to download the album through this app will get it for free.

So far, the campaign has only been advertised in the US, and the website is scant of information on whether or not the promotion is available worldwide.

According to The Wall Street Journal Speakeasy blog, the deal cost Samsung US$5m, at US$5 an album. Promotion around the new release has focused on writing the new rules and Jay-Z is clearly eager to do so with this deal that offers him 1m record sales even before the album’s release.

There has been speculation, however, on whether these ‘sales’ will be recognised by chart-makers. Commenting on the matter via his Twitter account, Jay-Z said, “If 1 Million records gets SOLD and billboard doesnt report it, did it happen? Ha. #newrules #magnacartaholygrail Platinum!!! VII IV XIII.”

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic