Tag Archives: jay-z
The Major League Baseball Players Association believes Jay-Z violated union rules when he gave New York Yankess 2nd Baseman Robinson Cano a $33,900 watch from his Hublot Shawn Carter Classic Fusion collection. According to ESPN’s sources, the MLBPA has now launched an investigation into the gift, which would violate a rule barring sports agents from giving players exorbitant gifts that could influence them to “use or continue to use any person’s or firm’s services as a Player Agent, Representative, or Draft Advisor”.
P speaks with Life+Times about his relationship with Jay-Z and his work on The Black Album, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary on the 14th.
Jay-Z is set to launch a new mens fragrance called Gold WWD reports. The cologne, which will come packaged in a box that resembles a gold brick, will be available at Barney’s New York as part of the Jay-Z Holiday Collection with other retailers to follow at a later time.
Here’s a description of the scent.
Top: “The brightness of Sicilian Bergamot and ginger warmed with Cardamom.”
Mid: “Masculine vetiver and teak wood mingle with the spice of pink pepper.”
Base: “Rich amber and sensual myrrh are smoothed with bourbon vanilla.”
Spotted: WWD via Complex
Back in the glory days of music sales, long before the web had done away with scarcity, albums and singles could hit the top of the charts on pre-sales alone. Those days are long gone, but exclusive pre-release listening initiatives are beginning to reinvent the pre-release sale cycle. There have been a number of diverse efforts of late including Daft Punk’s ‘Random Access Memories’ being streamed exclusively on iTunes a week prior to release and Jay-Z’s Samsung ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’ hard bundle. This week sees the arrival of another high profile artist effort: Lady Gaga’s ‘Artpop’ is going to be available one week ahead of release exclusively in the UK on mobile music service O2 Tracks. Done right, pre-release digital previews could be a crucial shot in the arm for music sales.
The debate around whether streaming cannibalizes downloads is going to run for a few years yet, and we’ll probably only have enough data to draw definitive conclusions when streaming’s ascent and downloading’s descent are irrevocably set. Until then, the challenge is how best to leverage the capabilities of existing digital platforms to drive sales of both downloads and good old fashioned CDs and LPs. Previewing on an all your can eat streaming service will always both drive and cannibalize sales, just in the same way that radio has always done so. But build the preview experience into the structure of a music store and the chances of conversion are much higher. Daft Punk’s iTunes preview was a run away success because it was in the heart of the globe’s biggest music retailer (though of course the impact of the uber effective marketing campaign cannot be discounted).
Powered by UK music start up MusicQubed, O2 Tracks is far from a download store (it delivers users a small selection of handpicked playlists for £1 a week) but it is nonetheless a proven driver of music sales. MusicQubed reports that O2 Tracks users frequently click to purchase tracks in the app, with stores such as iTunes providing the fulfillment. Thus O2 Tracks is an opportunity to drive hype (O2 are investing heavily in marketing the preview project) and to drive sales.
Lady Gaga is truly a digital era artist, with music sales that are strong but overshadowed by super high social engagement metrics such as Facebook Likes and YouTube views (see this chart for more). So while Lady Gaga’s management will be most interested in the strong marketing support from O2 and will in part measure success in terms of social footprint, her label Polydor will of course be paying much closer attention to conversions to sales. O2 Tracks should deliver on both counts.
As more pre-release digital initiatives are run we will get a better sense of what works best, and where. As that data builds I expect a clear case to emerge of a more structured and consistent approach to pre-release marketing. A crucial ingredient will be exclusive extra content, not just the album itself (the O2 Tracks ‘Artpop’ preview includes an eight minute interview with Lady Gaga). This is the sort of content that delivers genuine added value to core fans of any given artist and that helps build even more reason for fans to listen to pre-release album previews. The days of albums regularly topping the charts on pre-sales alone may be a thing of the past, but the pre-release sales cycle is waking up to a whole new lease of life in the digital age.
After it was recently revealed that two young Black consumers were racially profiled after shopping at Barney’s New York, there have been calls for comment from Jay-Z, who recently announced a high profile collaboration with the high-end department store. Jay just released the following statement via his Life+Times website:
This collaboration lives in a place of giving and is about the Foundation. I am not making a dime from this collection; I do not stand to make millions, as falsely reported. I need to make that fact crystal clear. The Shawn Carter Foundation is the beneficiary and the foundation is receiving 25% of all sales from the collaboration, 10% of all sales generated in the store on November 20th and an additional donation from Barneys. This money is going to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships to help further their education at institutions of higher learning. My idea was born out of creativity and charity… not profit.
I move and speak based on facts and not emotion. I haven’t made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys. Why am I being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately? The negligent, erroneous reports and attacks on my character, intentions, and the spirit of this collaboration have forced me into a statement I didn’t want to make without the full facts. Making a decision prematurely to pull out of this project, wouldn’t hurt Barneys or Shawn Carter, but all the people that stand a chance at higher education. I have been working with my team ever since the situation was brought to my attention to get to the bottom of these incidents and at the same time find a solution that doesn’t harm all those that stand to benefit from this collaboration.
I am against discrimination of any kind, but if I make snap judgements, no matter who it’s towards, aren’t I committing the same sin as someone who profiles? I am no stranger to being profiled and I truly empathize with anyone that has been put in that position. Hopefully this brings forth a dialogue to effect real change. – Shawn “JAY Z” Carter