Entertainment

Is Jay-Z Samsung's secret weapon to take on iRadio and Google Play Music All Access?

By James Geddes , Jun 05, 2013 04:18 PM EDT
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Many tech companies bring on a celebrity and give them a title in hopes that a high-profile celebrity will help sell smartphones and tablets. A new report claims Samsung and Jay-Z will announce a new multi-million dollar partnership in the next few weeks that could possibly be a new music streaming service or simply the rapper becoming the new face for Samsung's products.

As more and more tech companies try to appeal to consumers, they have looked to celebrities to help sell their products. The idea is that having a famous name endorsing a product can boost sales, companies have even started giving these celebrities titles and "responsibilities" to make consumers believe that the star has played a significant role in developing a new product and therefore its fans should want to purchase a device that their idol is involved with.

BlackBerry did this with Alicia Keyes when it launched the BlackBerry Z10 and its BlackBerry 10 operating system. BlackBerry gave Alicia Keyes the title of Global Creative Director at BlackBerry and claimed she would work with developers in creating new BlackBerry 10 applications, or at least that's what they wanted us to believe. Samsung is now expected to announce a multi-million dollar partnership with Jay-Z that will make the rapper an employee of Samsung.

Fox News is reporting that Samsung and Jay-Z are in the process of striking a rumored $20 million deal that could be Samsung's way of launching its own streaming music service, following Apple's upcoming iRadio and Google's recently launched Google Play Music All Access. The deal is said to be one of the biggest of its kind and will be signed in the next few weeks. The news site even points out that since Samsung's three upcoming smartphones that were expected to be officially unveiled at its June 20 London event have all leaked, Jay-Z could possibly add excitement to the show and take the stage with Samsung President JK Shin to announce the new partnership.

It's unclear at this point if the deal will be a new streaming music service or if Jay-Z will simply become the new face for Samsung's products. This would not be the first time, however, that Jay-Z has partnered with a technology company. The rapper and HP struck a deal in 2006 to appear in commercials and promote HP products. Some industry insiders believe that since Jay-Z recently moved his Roc Nation record label from Sony to Universal, the deal could be a music streaming service that will feature artists from his label and possibly artists from Universal.

We'll have to wait until June 20 to see if the deal is officially announced and what it exactly entails. Samsung has been slowly distancing itself from Google, so launching its own streaming music service on its mobile devices and having a celebrity as big as Jay-Z involved could be Samsung's secret weapon in providing a service Google already provides and one Apple will be launching soon.

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