Although it’s not even released yet, Jay-Z’s new album is certified platinum, adding another notch to what’s set to become one of the most controversial albums of 2013.
The CD, titled “Magna Carta Holy Grail”, and set for release July 4, reached the platinum mark after the rap superstar inked a deal with Samsung which will release 1 million free copies of the album to Samsung phone owners. Samsung paid $5 per album, which instantly made Jay-Z’s camp $5 million richer before the album even hit store shelves.
But how is it possible for the record to go platinum before its release? Ask the RIAA, the industry agency responsible for certifying records either gold, platinum, double platinum and more. On July 1, the RIAA announced a fundamental change to the way it tallies album sales.
Previously the RIAA required an album only be eligible for certification of gold or platinum status 30 days after it was released. This rule was designed to ensure the potential return of the physical product – the CD, vinyl, and cassette– that could be bought and returned, thus not counting as a sale.
But with the advent of digital downloads, the RIAA is changing suit. According to its auditing firm, digital returns account for less than two percent of all returns. But because you can’t return iTunes sales, there is no reason to continue the stringent 30-day requirements.
Jay-Z has recently said the Internet, in terms of music sales, is the “The wild wild west…and we need to write the rules.”
It sounds like that’s just what Jay-Z did.
Thanks to ellasportfolio for the picture of Jay-Z.