There seems to be a dark, Samsung-shaped cloud looming over today’s news that Jay-Z will be releasing his brand-new solo album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, in just over three weeks time. The record is being supported by a $20 million deal with the tech giants, who are promising all sorts of deals to their users, one of which could potentially see massively inflated album sales resulting in guaranteed chart success.
As part of the deal, Samsung has created a Magna Carta app for smartphones running Android, to be release on Google’s pay store on 24th June. On 1st June, the first million downloaders of the app using Samsung’s Galaxy S III, Galaxy S 4 and Galaxy Note II will be given exclusive access to a free copy of the record, which will be released to the rest of the world 3 days later.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Samsung paid $5 a pop for each record meaning that, on paper, Hov will have shifted 1 million units in a day, raking in a nifty $5 million in the process.
It’s not immediately clear whether these sales will be reflected in the Nielsen SoundScan report, which logs official album sales in the US and holds considerable sway on the Billboard charts, nor whether the giveaway will be limited to US users only. If these sales do have an impact on SoundScan the album could reach gold status 3 days before it’s even released. To put this into perspective, it took Rihanna 6 months for her album Unapologetic to reach Gold. And that Diamonds song is everywhere.
This could potentially be Samsung’s attempt to challenge their fierce competitors Apple in the online music arena, effectively making Jay-Z another power player in the ever-expanding technology war. Currently Jay-Z’s website for the album is bloated with tidbits on the release, with plenty of Samsung and Android logos adorning the site.
Watch: Jay-Z + Samsung Magna Carta Holy Grail commercial