3 PR Lessons From Jay Z’s Tidal Launch

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Music mogul Jay Z has a flair for PR and marketing, what with being one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. jayz-buys-tidal-music

So it shouldn't come as a shock that Jay Z went big when he debuted his latest business venture Monday, announcing Tidal, a subscription music-streaming service he recently bought for $56 million.

Jay Z made the announcement at a star-studded news conference in Manhattan, where he introduced the “owners” of Tidal, which will compete head-on against Spotify, Pandora and, eventually, Apple.

Jay Z’s media strategy provides a veritable clinic for communicators who are looking for ways to make a splash when they announce new products and/or services.

Here are three PR takeaways from Jay Z’s announcement:

  • Create a unique hashtag—and a sense of anticipation. Social media, of course, is an increasingly vital component of any product rollout. But how do you stand out? Pick a hashtag that will grab consumers, but also try and spark some action among your followers. The general public first got wind of the launch just after midnight when artists began turning their Twitter avatars cyan-blue in support of the #TIDALforALL hashtag, according to USA Today.
  • Surround yourself with talent. Sure, few of us can recruit Rihanna, Kanye West and Nicki Minaj to help get the word out about a new service. But by surrounding himself with his musical peers during the launch event, Jay Z presented a unified front and conveyed a strong message about Tidal’s artistic endeavors. Who are your mainstay partners and how can you include them in your communications? What are some of your common goals that you would like to convey to customers and consumers together?
  • Reinforce the message. Throughout the news conference Jay Z stuck to a core message: This is a service run by artists who should be fairly compensated. Subscription rates and competitive landscape aside, Jay Z kept the focus on why consumers need to recognize the value of music. “Everyone knows that the pay system is unfair to artists,” he said during the news conference (per The New York Times). “Everywhere else, everyone gets compensated for their work. Music is everywhere—you consume it every day, everywhere you go. The content creator should be compensated. It’s only fair.”

 Follow Matthew Schwartz on Twitter: @mpsjourno1