Jay-Z changed the game in 2013 thanks to an innovative deal with Samsung and his critically acclaimed ‘Magna Carta.’ The deal, which saw the technology giant purchase his album in bulk, may have not worked to his favor from Billboard’s standpoint, but it certainly helped the rapper around RIAA’s then-platinum certification rule (later inspiring them to change it).
The very change he incited played in his favor yet again when his most recent effort, ‘4:44,’ was certified platinum (as we reported here). Available exclusively to Tidal and/or Sprint customers (as of time reported), the set’s content has had the net buzzing since last week and now that buzz has only intensified with the RIAA’s shocking report.
Leaving many with scratched heads and Kanye “How Sway?” faces, Billboard has finally lifted the veil on how Jigga landed his historic 13th platinum certification.
“One equivalent album unit, as recognized by the RIAA, is equal to: one album sale, 10 tracks sold from an album, or 1,500 on-demand audio and/or video streams from an album. 4:44 was released on June 30 by Roc Nation, and was initially exclusively available as a stream to existing customers of Tidal and Sprint. However, by July 2, the album was also offered as a free download — sponsored by Sprint…
Those album downloads — which were free to the consumer but purchased by a company (Sprint) for distribution — were counted towards the platinum certification.”
It should be noted the report yielded by Roc Nation to the RIAA says the 1 million album equivalent mark was reached purely by downloads and does NOT include any TIDAL streaming figures.
Furthermore, like ‘Magna’ before it, Billboard was sure to clarify that its pricing policy (which only counts albums purchased at $3.49 or above) still stands and the Sprint-sponsored downloads will NOT count toward ‘4:44’s chart placement. Only TIDAL figures properly reported to Nielsen Music will count toward its debut ranking.