I have been vindicated – VINDICATED I tell you!
I know you’re like, “what’s this fool blabbing about now?”
Bear with me.
Yesterday, Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail album, initially released on July 4 exclusively via mobile app, was officially certified platinum.
Right now, you’re probably thinking, “so effing what?”
Well I’ll tell you effing what.
Jay Z’s album being certified platinum in less than one week after it was released, and the same day it was available in stores, means the rules are being rewritten.
“What rules?” you ask.
Of music promotion.
You might be thinking, “but Samsung paid $5 million, how is that re-writing the rules?”
And that’s a fair question.
The fact of the matter is that Samsung’s deal with Jay Z, to purchase 1 million copies of Magna Carta and give them away free, made his platinum certification a foregone conclusion.
It also means that his actual sales are going to get a major boost.
It’s been forecast that Magna Carta’s first week sales will eclipse those of his previous best seller, The Blueprint 3.
But the bigger issue is that in embarking on this ambitious app-only pre-release, both Samsung and Jay Z, realized the massive impact (and value) of mobile and social media to their respective brands.
Their initiative effectively leveraged social media and mobile to make the Magna Carta album and the Samsung Galaxy line of phones, two of the most talked, blogged, tweeted and tagged subjects of the past three weeks.
At this point, you’re probably asking, “so why do you feel vindicated, Stephen?”
What does any of this have to do with me?
It’s quite simple really.
The mobile phone is the most ubiquitous personal device ever.
Social media has proven to be the most powerful marketing tool ever.
The music industry is a natural fit for both of these powerful tools.
For years, I’ve been pushing these strategies to folks in the music industry.
Most of the time, I feel like I’m talking to myself.
The responses were always the same.
Few could see the utility of an app as a promotional vehicle.
And those who could either lacked the will, power, willpower (not to be confused with “will” or “power”) or money to pull the trigger.
There were no case studies to support it.
No established ROI.
And no one was trying to give shit away.
“We’re in business to make money,” they’d say.
To which I’d respond, “how’s that working out for ya?”
In my head.
You can’t say that kind of shit in a meeting when you’re trying to get money.
Well you can…
But seriously, it was always an uphill battle, trying to convince the powers that be that I knew what the fuck I was talking about.
Although many of us have foreseen the demise of physical sales, the music industry has been slow to accept this fact.
And subsequently even slower to adopt strategies to bring them in line with the new digital age.
With Jay Z’s highly publicized deal with Samsung, and FunkMaster Flex’s earlier app-exclusive release of his Who You Mad At? Me or Yourself mixtape, you’ve got two powerhouses leading the charge.
And maybe folks will start thinking about how they can use mobile apps and social media to drive engagement and conversion.
I routinely drop jewels like this, but I guess I’m just ahead of my time.
Will my phone start ringing off the hook, with music executives begging me to help them craft their digital strategies?
But they should.
Even if they don’t, I’m cool.
Being right is satisfaction enough.
But any record executives out there within the sound of my blog…call me.