On July 4th, Jay-Z’s new album Magna Carta Holy Grail was made available for download for free and in advance to one million Samsung owners, through an official Samsung-created app. Samsung paid $5 for each download.
Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S4 owners were able to download the app and sign in through Twitter or Facebook. The album could then be played either through the app or downloaded in MP3 format directly to hard drives.
The album’s official release date was July 8th, giving a four day window of exclusivity to Samsung owners.
The effort, of course, generated massive buzz and was generally agreed to be a great concept. That said, there was also a great deal of criticism, about the poor functionality of the app, and accusations of spyware … which goes to show that without great execution even the best ideas can be compromised.
Rather than just interrupting consumers’ lives, brands are increasingly looking to provide useful services or applications that give people something they actually need – without demanding an immediate return.
For the same budget and energy expended on traditional advertising, many brands are instead creating things that are more tangible, useful and reusable, and that play a more integral part in the consumer’s life.