Having 1 million copies of your album bought and then released exclusively through Samsung, a multi-billion dollar company, has definitely raised the bar in the music industry.
Samsung is looking to have one leg up on its competitor, the iPhone, by offering exclusives such as the giveaway of Jay-Z’s album “Magna Carta Holy Grail.”
This isn’t the first attempt by Samsung to boost phone sales with the promise of music but having an artist of Jay-Z’s magnitude is the first move of it’s kind. The album will not be made available through just any Samsung phone on July 4th, but is designated solely to Samsung Galaxy users who download their exclusive app.
The desire to offer exclusive content is always a top priority for companies who offer mobiles devices and electronics. In the early days of Android, the Apple app store was the smartphone to beat with Microsoft playing catch up to both companies. If marketed right, apps can become a profitable business offering the companies that run the platform a piece of the revenue from sales. Although there is room for profit, in the field of mobile content it’s not always about making money. This is made clear through the countless number of companies entering the non-lucrative world of streaming music. Phone carriers use music to promote their networks. MetroPCS has teamed up with Rhapsody to offer bundle subscriptions with their monthly plans.
“Music, increasingly, has to be part of a broader strategy,” says Benedict Evans of Enders Analysis. “It’s tough to make it work as a stand-alone business.”
“We are witnessing this with businesses like Pandora and Spotify bleeding cash while working aimlessly to lower their royalty payments. On the other hand Apple and Google view their streaming music services the same way that Samsung views its Jay-Z deal,” says Evans. For the tech giants, it’s often necessary to sustain a loss in order to be the ones getting the music out.