‘Holy Grail’ debuted for Jay Z on Thursday, and the rapper found an innovative way to get it out to his fans.
The video was released to Facebook’s proprietary video player, giving the social media giant a 24-hour jump on YouTube or other video providers. The ‘Holy Grail’ video showed up on Facebook at noon ET on Thursday, and will be available to other outlets at noon on Friday.
Nick Grudin, head of content partnerships for Facebook, said the ‘Holy Grail’ release for Jay Z represents “the evolution of music and how musicians can connect with their fans.”
“And we think that is particularly evident in Jay Z’s approach here, which will really allow him to go direct to a massive and instant global audience,” Grudin said. “It’s something that only Facebook I think can really deliver in this way, given the scale of the audiences musicians have and the global nature of those audiences and the social dynamics of what happens when they engage on Facebook.”
Releasing ‘Holy Grail’ on Facebook could be a smart move for Jay Z and Justin Timberlake, who have a combined 43 million fans. But it is a bit surprising, given that Timberlake still has an ownership stake in Facebook rival MySpace.
Grudin also seemed to imply that Facebook could grow as an outlet for musicians to release music and videos.
“It’s an area that we think there’s already a lot of great activity happening, but there’s still opportunities for a lot more,” Grudin says. “And this Jay Z video is a nice milestone in showing what’s possible in reaching the Facebook audience and really socially electrifying his fanbase.”
With the ‘Holy Grail’ release, Jay Z follows in his innovative marketing style for his album Magna Carta Holy Grail. Earlier this year he made a deal with Samsung to give away 1 million advanced copies of the album to Samsung Galaxy customers. The campaign helped push the album to a No. 1 debut on the Billboard charts and 527,000 in sales.
The ‘Holy Grail’ video featuring Jay Z and Justin Timberlake can be seen here.