Kanye West and Jay-Z Release New Song via Facebook

What happens when two of the biggest rappers stars in the world debut a new single on Facebook? Well, not much actually. What does this say about marketing on Facebook?

While Facebook maybe a great destination to reconnect with your former high school and college friends, is it a new way to release music? Kanye West and Jay-Z, two of the biggest rappers in the world released their first single, “H.A.M” from a forthcoming collaborative album. The idea to release their first single through Facebook was Kanye and Jay-Z’s decision, according to the executives from the record label, Def Jam.

While many other artists have also used Facebook to release new songs, including Avril Lavigne and Lil Wayne, Kanye and Jay-Z decided to create an entire new page for the song. The page is titled Watch The Throne, the title of their new album. JD Anderson, director of new media for Def Jam Records believed that since Jay-Z has 6 million Facebook friends and Kanye has 5 million Facebook friends that the single release would be very successful.

While the theory that this was a great idea, two days later, it does not seem to be as effective as once believed. Having a combined 11 million friends, taken into account that many of those friends might overlap, there is at least 6 million original fans. In order to hear the song, one must “like” the page. Currently the Watch The Throne page has 79,640 likes. Now let us round that number up to 80,000 people, so out of 6 million people that were directly informed of the release of the song liked the page that is .01% of their Facebook friends.

This creates a great deal of questions for businesses who wish to market themselves on Facebook. While the marketing is free the return maybe light. Many people create profiles on Facebook and many people use Facebook for a time, but this shows that only a small number of people actively use Facebook. A person who goes out of their way to find Kanye or Jay-Z to friend them presumably is a fan of their music, why wouldn’t they want to hear the new song?