Ready for another episode of “when ridiculously high-profile deals for exclusive music launches go wrong?” Many folks woke up early on the 4th of July, eager to download Jay-Z’s latest studio album which — for the first three days — could only be downloaded from certain Samsung Galaxy phones for free. The first million people to get in on it wouldn’t have to pay a dime. All they’d have to do is own a Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, or a Galaxy Note 2, and download the official Magna Carta Holy Grail app from the Google Play Store.
That all sounded great… until it failed. Midnight came and went and many folks bum rushed the app to get a taste of the latest from rap’s biggest mogul, but for most people, the app did nothing but show a white screen with the MCHG logo sitting below Jay-Z’s name (as shown in the screenshot off tot he right). From there, it’s dead. You can’t even go back into the app and check out the lyrics or videos as you could before the countdown timer expired.
Some have resorted to listening to radio playbacks of the album, or — worse yet — pirating it. To be quite honest, I don’t blame them. When millions of dollars exchange hands for a major release deal like this you should have all your ducks in a row ahead of time. Sure, users didn’t have to pay for anything, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t entitled to what they were promised. We’re willing to cut Samsung some slack here, as we imagine even they couldn’t anticipate how much of a strain this would put on their servers.
Still, it’s a pretty big deal when you screw up a pretty big deal, and Samsung should have been more prepared to make sure this thing went off smoothly. It’s a shame, too — I heard the album was great. I guess I’ll be waiting until it hits Google Play Music before I get a chance to hear it for myself. Any of you experiencing the same issues?