Billboard may have given Jay-Z the cold shoulder for his album-release-as-Samsung-ad gambit, but not the Record Industry Association of America. In a blog post on Monday, the RIAA announced that it had tweaked its digital sales rules, meaning Jay-Z's "Magna Carta Holy Grail" could be certified Platinum (over 1 million copies sold) by the weekend.
In the past, the RIAA only certified albums after 30 days of release, to allow for "potential returns of physical product." The digital sales were counted with the same delay, but since "there are very few digital returns," the RIAA decided to change the way it works. Now, digital sales will be counted immediately, with the 30-day rule still in place for CDs, cassette tapes and vinyl releases. That's good news for Jay-Z, whose "Magna Carta Holy Grail" will be available for 1 million Samsung users to digitally download starting on July 4.
From the RIAA press release:
By now, many of us in the music business, as well as Jay-Z fans, know that Samsung has purchased one million "Magna Carta Holy Grail" digital albums to be given away to the phone maker's customers. It is a novel and creative marketing move and it has rightly stimulated a healthy conversation about the sale's meaning and implications for the modern music business.
For us, the move prompted a re-examination of our historic Gold & Platinum (G&P) Program award rules. As we dug through the records of audits, re-reviewed rules and consulted with our auditing firm of more than thirty years, Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman, we discovered one rule disparity that no longer makes sense.
For more, head over to the RIAA website.