The power of a smartphone App.

Two items of discussion here.

“Magna Carta Holy Grail” – Jay Z

& “Recess” – Skrillex

source: Skrillex

source: Skrillex

On March 11th, the grammy winning producer, Skrillex, released a new smartphone app. So what is special about this? Well, Skrillex hid a stream to his new and unannounced album, Recess, within the application. 36 hours after the application’s release, Skrillex came forward and announced that the locked folder on the application’s home screen was hosting his album. It was available for stream. The album release came out of the blue. Two weeks ago, there was speculation that a new Skrillex album was coming at some point, but no one knew when.

The application is a basic arcade style alien spaceship shooting game. Very simple, but effective. People can play a simple game while streaming Skrillex’s new album. I think this is a great PR move. Everything was done by Skrillex’s team, and you can listen to his whole album for free.

Success because:
1) Free application.
2) Game & new album stream within application.
3) All done by Skrillex’s team. No external party’s influence.

Now, Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail album release.

Privacy Policy behind Samsung's release of Jay-Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail.

Privacy Policy behind Samsung’s release of Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail.

I think that picture sums up the problems with Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail application release.
Backstory: Jay-Z signed a $20 million deal with Samsung to allow a million Samsung Galaxy owners the ability to download Jay’s new album a week before its release. The application crashed and the privacy policy is a bit insane. So what rubs me the wrong way with Jay-Z’s PR move? Well, it feels shallow and not very thought out. What cell phone user wants to surrender their phone for an album a week early? What if you do download the app and it crashes? Oh, then you don’t get the album right away, and your phone’s privacy has still been surrendered. And Jay-Z still made $20 million.

Failure because:
1) It makes Jay-Z look bad. It appears as though he “sold 0ut”. There is nothing wrong with taking an endorsement. However, given Jay-Z’s legacy, he should have made sure that endorsement wasn’t going to sell out his fan’s phone privacy. Jay-Z gets paid, his fan’s phones are the price.

2) The application didn’t work properly. If you’re going to have an exclusive album download via an app, the app has to work.

3) The album came off as an advertisement for Samsung, not a Jay-Z music release.

Lesson: If you’re going to release your album/song via an app, make sure it works. Skrillex’s app has had no issues to my knowledge, and people are praising his app because it is simple. Simple game, simple album stream. Make an app that you developed, not an app that corporation paid you to utilize. Jay-Z’s app download was basically a Samsung advertising campaign, that exploited the Galaxy user’s information.

Source: Jay Z

Source: Jay Z

Information about the “Magna Carta Holy Fail” was discovered at Search Engine Journal

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One thought on “The power of a smartphone App.

  1. I believe this is the future of album releases. With so much competition today, musicians need to have the edge in producing and distributing music. Exclusive contracts and branding rights, combined with unannounced album releases has become more and more popular. Essentially, it is a win – win for both the company and the artist. I look forward to seeing more of this in the future.

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