Facebook vs. iTunes: Jay-Z and Kanye West New Single Fails to Wow ‘Em Via Social Media

We all love Facebook. In fact, we all love Facebook enough to make Mark Zuckerberg the world’s youngest billionaire. But is it the new iTunes?

A recent new release from Jay-Z and Kanye West seems to indicate that iTunes doesn’t need to worry about Facebook stealing a huge aspect of revenue. The new song, entitled H.A.M and released solely through the social media site, was expected to have a huge release, especially taking into consideration that the two artists combined had about 11 million Facebook friends. After a few days of it being released however, only about 100,000 people had actually listened to the song by “liking” the page.

This lack-luster release seems to have the business world stirring. Advertisers now seem to be concerned with how effective social marketing is. If it doesn’t work, why bother to take the time and effort to put together? And why is such a popular site not generating interest outside of who just broke up or what your latest frenemy’s current status is?

On the other hand however, it is important to take into account that social marketing strategies are typically low cost. So even if the result is minimal, it could be worth the small amount of effort it takes to set up. Also, other acts, such as Lil Wayne, have also done Facebook releases that have had a slightly better response.  The poor response could have been just merely circumstantial and required better advertising on other ends.  

 It’s also vital to remember that Facebook was started in order to connect people. While that long gone and ancient site known as MySpace was created to help emerging bands get more attention, Facebook was solely for social networking purposes. Hence, it could be difficult for Facebook to cross over now and put a greater focus on music, even if it is through well-known, already established musicians.

But who knows? Don’t put it past Mark Zuckerberg to find another way to generate revenue that ends up taking over the world.


— By Kristy Shaulis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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