If you own a Samsung Galaxy and are a Jay-Z fan, then you will probably be happy to hear that Samsung is giving away one million copies of “Magna Carta Holy Grail” to owners of its flagship smartphone 72 hours before the album’s official debut on July 4.
Jay-Z hinted at the endorsement deal on Sunday when he appeared in a TV commercial during Game 5 of the NBA finals, along with Pharrell Williams and producer Rick Rubin. The tagline was “The Next Big Thing”–a teaser for the early release of “Magna Carta Holy Grail” on Galaxy devices.
Samsung bought 1 million copies of the album, which is scheduled for release on July 4, to give to Samsung Galaxy owners. The Wall Street Journal reports that Samsung paid $5 each for the albums–reaping Jay-Z $5 million for “Magna Carta Holy Grail” before it even goes on sale.
The deal is notable for a couple of reasons. First, it could help Samsung further polish its image in the U.S. as it continues its heated rivalry with Apple. Though Samsung is the top smartphone seller in the world, with a 28.8% percent share of the global market according to IDC, iPhones continue to lead in the U.S. Samsung’s Galaxy series has performed very well in the U.S., but the Korean company still suffers from lingering perceptions that it’s just a copycat thanks to the drawn-out Apple-Samsung legal battles over patents. An endorsement deal with one of the U.S.’s top rap artists may help Samsung gain more cred with consumers, especially younger ones.
The deal may also help Samsung’s Music Hub, a streaming music service available on Galaxy devices, compete with Apple’s iTunes Radio, which will be included with iOS devices and offer preview of tracks before they are available elsewhere. If Samsung is successful in building an attractive ecosystem for its mobile devices, that will help it retain consumers even if the phablet frenzy slows down.