The Recording Industry Association of America has switched up one of their longstanding rules about album certification due to the unique Samsung deal struck by Jay-Z for his Magna Carta Holy Grail album.
On July 4, 2013, Jay Z released his latest album Magna Carta Holy Grail which completely revolutionized the industry. His release strategy was so different from that of any other artist, that it prompted them to change the way they deliver music to the public.
The RIAA has heard Jay-Z's #newrules loud and clear.
After previously denying Jay Z of platinum status, due to his album being sold to Samsung digitally over 30 days prior to its release, the RIAA made an official statement indicating that they were going to change the rules for the 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."
Jay Z's strategy for his new album became so popular that it encourage other artist to come up with their own creative ways of releasing their music to the public. Some examples are Beyonce's and Kid Cudi's surprise album, Nipsey Hussle's exclusive 1000 copies of his album for 100$ each, and most recently, the single copy of Wu Tang Clan's new reunion album for more than 5 million dollars.
Magna Carta Holy Grail was first introduced in a series of videos which starred Jay Z along with various producers he was collaborating with. These videos could be accessed through a android app created by Jay Z in collaboration with Samsung. This app served as a way to promote the album by weekly posting videos of the sessions, as well as pictures.
Near the date of the release, Jay Z announced a deal stating that the album would be free for the first 1 million android phone owners who downloaded the app. Those who did, received the album three days prior to its official release.
It may not be reflected on the Billboard charts, but Jay-Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail is now guaranteed to be certified platinum by the RIAA soon after its early release on July 4th. The industry...
The RIAA stated that the way music is being sold is changing drastically, and they feel the rules must progress as distribution does. This meant that Jay Z's album would officially qualify for platinum status upon its release. However, the sales did not qualify for the Billboard charts due to the Neilsen SoundScan rules.
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