Jul 02


Inside "Magna Carta Holy Grail" with JAY Z + Samsung

In anticipation of Jay-Z’s upcoming album Magna Carta Holy Grail, the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced on July 1st that they would be tweaking their rules regarding Gold & Platinum Certification for digital albums. Jay-Z announced earlier this summer that the first 1 million copies of Magna Carta Holy Grail will go to Samsung Galaxy phone users, and available 72 hours before the album’s wide release on July 9th. 

These new rules will align with RIAA’s rules for sales of digital singles: “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”
says Liz Kennedy, the Director of Communications and Gold & Platinum Program at RIAA. 

The elimination of the 30-day wait is much more friendly towards digital albums, since the rule only made sense for physical formats (it acted as a buffer in auditing for people returning the CDs/hard copies of the album). This new rule allow albums to instantly qualify for the Gold & Platinum Program, which means that Magna Carta Holy Grail will become platinum even before its July 9th release date through distribution of a million copies by Samsung.

This update comes in an attempt by RIAA to modernize its rules to the ever-changing modern music marketplace, and could mean that more artists will move even further away from releasing their work on physical formats, especially since it will be easier for new artists to achieve Gold Platinum or Multi-Platinum awards through digital releases. 

This unprecedented partnership of Samsung + Jay-Z will probably push the future of the record industry towards more digital releases, and this new rule makes it easier for companies to buy digital albums and distribute them.