I had a small inclination this was going to happen and thanks to the R.I.A.A, it has come true. After Soundscan dissed Jay-Z by informing him that the 1 million copies of Magna Carta Holy Grail sold to Samsung would NOT count towards sales of his album, they have pulled a John Kerry and flip-flopped on their decision. Starting today, according to an announcement by the R.I.A.A., those sales WILL count towards Jay-Z’s sales.
We think it’s time for the RIAA – and Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman – to align our digital song and album certification requirements. That’s why today we are officially updating this rule in our G&P Program requirements. Going forward, sales of albums in digital format will become eligible on the release date, while sales of albums in physical format will still become eligible for certification 30 days after the release date.
Ok so it breaks down like this, initially, Soundscan’s ruling was that in order for an album to count towards sales, they had to be sold by an entity to a retailer who turns around and sales that above or below cost. In doing so, Billboard counts those albums and the album will chart on Billboard. This was how things were done in the old West. Well two days before this album drops, Jay-Z pulled some illuminati shit and now the R.I.A.A. (Recording Industry Association of America) has re-written the rule book and the Magna Carta Holy Grail’s purchase by Samsung will become official for Jay-Z pushing him platinum out the gate.
The new rule change by the R.I.A.A. only accounts for digital sales and seems like a “common rule update” as the R.I.A.A. worded it. I prefer to call it the Jay-Z Rule. Look, here’s the thing. Jay-Z has a lot of fans and Samsung has a lot of users. So it stands to reason that there would more than likely be 1 million users of Samsung’s Magna Carta Holy Grail digital app. However, I think we need to look into taking it one step forward by having Samsung confirm the number installs of this app on real Samsung devices. How many devices are actually installing this app on their phones. That sounds like a valid metric to me? Think about it this way, companies can now buy albums through a structured deal on paper. Without true validation of the said device, app, or whatever measured, how do we know that those numbers are true numbers and not some rue. Back to the wild, wild west reference before, that could happen now because any artist or company looking to align themselves up with a high-powered brand name, can inflate numbers through these deals leading to a manipulation of the public. Through corporate deals, it becomes far more easier to move the needle than before. And while Jay-Z wins in the end, we need to apply a bit more thought to this. I think it’s highly risky of the R.I.A.A. to start such a drastic change at the 11th hour without taking into consideration all the potential outcomes. Of course, they may have but I find it unlikely since this all took place within a week.
In any event, come July 4th, Jay-Z will become platinum. For the 12th time. He just did it in a round about way winning against a system in which so many artists are failing. Don’t sale to consumers, just sale albums to corporation. They’ll buy.