Jay-Z‘s obsession with rules — old like the Magna Carta itself, new like his distribution deal with Samsung — has inspired the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to change its own. Beginning July 1, digital sales will be counted immediately toward an album’s gold or platinum status, so that when Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail drops July 4 on Samsung phones, it immediately goes platinum.
The RIAA previously waited 30 days to certify an album gold or platinum, to account for physical returns at brick and mortar stores. “The reality is that how fans consume music is changing, the music business is changing as labels and artists partner with a breathtaking array of new technology services, and the industry’s premier award recognizing artists’ commercial achievement should similarly keep pace,” the RIAA said in a statement.
— Mr. Carter (@S_C_) June 17, 2013
To Billboard, at least for right now, it didn’t. In an op-ed, as well as earlier today on Bloomberg, Billboard‘s editorial director Bill Werde said that Magna Carta Holy Grail will likely top the charts, even excluding the one million copies that Samsung’s giving away to its smartphone users. “There’s no charge, so technically there’s nothing for sale,” Werde said. “The Billboard album charts have always been about counting consumer intent, based on transaction.”
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