Published June 05, 2013
Samsung could be the latest mobile tech firm to leap aboard the celebrity endorsement train, as it’s rumored to be in the process of striking a deal with rapper Jay-Z, one which could be worth $20 million. The news comes from The New York Post, where it’s alleged the paperwork is ready to be signed in the coming weeks, and that it’s, “The biggest of its kind.”
So what is the nature of the partnership? It’s not exactly clear, although the Post speculates it’s linked to the launch of an exclusive music streaming service. This could be used to promote artists signed to his own Roc Nation record label, according to MTV, and the deal may have been made easier by both Samsung and Jay-Z recently partnering with Universal Music Group.
Whether the world needs another music streaming service, especially one which sounds more than a little self-serving, is open to debate; but any deal Samsung does strike with Jay-Z may end up being pushed aside in the column inches stakes if Apple does launch iRadio, or whatever it’ll be called, at WWDC next week.
Of course, Samsung may also rope Jay-Z into becoming yet another celebrity spokesperson, a growing trend in the tech industry. As anyone who has been watching tech events for the past six months, putting a celebrity on stage to talk about your product has become the thing to do. Microsoft enjoyed Jessica Alba’s company at the launch of Windows Phone 8, while Alicia Keys has been working hard to promote BlackBerry hardware ever since she was announced as global creative ambassador (or something) at the end of January. Even Intel, playing to the home crowd, got superstar Taiwanese singer and dancer Jolin Tsai up on stage to talk about two-in-one devices at Computex this week.
Samsung has an event planned for June 20 in London, where it’s rapidly running out of hardware to announce, so perhaps we’ll find out more about this mysterious deal then.