Samsung has once again upped the ante in the war of cool against Apple.
This time, they've enlisted the aid of hip hop heavyweight, and all-around media mogul, Jay Z.
If you've been paying attention to the interwebs, you might have caught wind of the latest partnership between this mainstream music icon and the tech company actively trying to dethrone Apple.
The pairing, in and of itself, isn't particularly novel.
Not even for Samsung, who previously enlisted King James at the start of the season last year with the Galaxy Note II.
But what is exceptional, is the fact that Samsung is giving away Jay Z's next album.
You heard me.
Everyone who owns or cops a Samsung Galaxy device, will also get Jay Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail album a
full week few days before its released in stores.
Now I don't know how many people are actually going to buy a new phone or trade up, just to get an album they can purchase for 10 bucks.
But Samsung definitely gets dumb cool points for inking a deal with Hov for the right to distribute advance copies of his album with their phones.
I mean really, how cool is that?
Jigga Jay Z?!
Apple may have made digital music cool with the iPod, but Samsung just made digital music way cooler with this coup.
Jay Z is veritably hip hop royalty, so this deal is a pretty big….deal.
The bigger issue, as I see it, are the possibilities for media and technology companies to do these types of collabos in the future.
I've always been a proponent of utilizing technology as a means through which to build audience.
With the plethora of artists and devices out there, nowadays you need a hook if you really want folks to pay attention.
Something to differentiate your offering from the masses and reel your audience in.
And recently, I've seen evidence of the more savvy brands implementing the strategies I talk about ad nauseum.
Check the FunkFlex App, and you'll see what I mean.
FunkMaster Flex is one of the few artists that I've seen, who thoroughly gets it when it comes to merging celebrity with technology.
And he's freaking it, at that.
The FunkFlex app comes preloaded with goobledy gobs of content.
He dropped his entire mixtape via his app and it features a who's who of hip hop and R&B.
To this day, if you cop the app, you'll still be able to get loads of exclusive free content.
As a result, his digital footprint is large, and growing daily.
Movie studios are also starting to realize the inherent value of producing apps to accompany the lead up to the release of a new movie.
Virtually every movie I've seen in the recent past has had an app.
But all players with skin in the game.
Which underscores my point.
Every new artist should have a app.
Old ones too.
It shouldn't be an afterthought.
It should be the way you introduce your artist to the masses.
That app should be preloaded with a bunch of songs, videos and pictures, and every single social media profile that artist uses to interact with their fans.
Music should stream, in full, and the app should be enabled with push notifications, featuring calls-to-action, inviting users to rate the app, purchase tickets and use the embed social share features to broadcast their affiliation with the artist to their larger network.
And giving them the ability to buy tracks wouldn't be a bad idea either.
Having an app is not an inexpensive endeavor.
Samsung dropped serious coin for the right to distribute Jay Z's album.
To the tune of $5 million.
And we all know that every artist can't afford to do Samsung/Jay Z type deals to attract new users.
But I'm sure Samsung thinks they got a bargain, so it's all relative.
The truth is, deals like this don't have to be so one-sided.
New artists should seek out brands like Metro PCS, Boost and Virgin Mobile, who all want to enhance their phone offerings to compete with the big boys.
While contract free phones are all the rage, having a phone pre-loaded with free music from underground or up-and-coming acts is definitely a strategy we're going to see more of.
Magna Carta is just the beginning.