Rapper Jay Z and Samsung’s ingenious marketing plan to give away Jay Z’s twelfth studio album for free to 1 million Samsung Galaxy owners hit a snag early Thursday morning. The plan was to allow 1 million free downloads of Jay Z’s album Magna Carta Holy Grail to Galaxy owners who had installed the ‘Holy Grail’ radio app on their smartphones.
But all good plans often go astray, as the disappointed Jay Z Stans soon learned when the app failed to work as promised at the stroke of midnight on July 4th.
Shortly after the digital release at 12 a.m. Thursday, many people on Twitter reported that they couldn’t use the app because it was frozen. The ticking clock on the app’s main screen counted down to zero, but many could only see a frozen picture of minimalist album art.Of course, Jay Z and Samsung couldn’t care less if his Stans took their bitter complaints to Twitter. They couldn’t put a price tag on the free marketing and promotion that the failed app gave Jay Z. The unusual deal between the former Marcy projects drug dealer and Samsung was literally a game changer. The alliance forced the RIAA to change the rules regarding digital downloads and the way album sales are counted.
On a Samsung phone the Star tested, it took an hour and a half after the scheduled release for the Magna Carta app to start working and show anything but a frozen picture.
It took until nearly 2 a.m. for the app to start working. When it did work, it gave users the option of live streaming or downloading the music.
The entire Samsung-Jay-Z experiment was based on using social media to create a conversation about the music. Before the launch, users could only unlock previews of lyrics by sending tweets or sharing on Facebook.
But Samsung didn’t offer an immediate explanation to the angry fans on Twitter, some who used a #SamsungFail hashtag to air their grievances.