In the last four years, Jay Z has released two albums, both through non-traditional means. While most artists would sign with a record label to release their album, the most successful hip-hop artist of all time, a man worth $810 million, has made deals with a smartphone maker and carrier to cover distribution and promotion. The total value of the agreements, which include not just Jay Z's music, but his businesses is a whopping $220 million.
Back in 2013, Jay Z struck a deal between his own label and management company Roc Nation and Samsung to release his album Magna Carta Holy Grail for an estimated $20 million, $5 million of which went toward purchasing a million copies of the album. Earlier this year, Jay Z struck a deal to sell 33 percent of his streaming service Tidal to Sprint for $200 million, raising the valuation of the company to $600 million. Sprint announced the deal would include Tidal artists releasing "exclusive content that will only be available to current and new Sprint customers," and a $75 million budget to fund and market that content.
The musical fruit of that deal, Jay Z's 13th solo album 4:44, was released June 30, exclusively to Tidal and Sprint customers