RIAA Announce Major New Rule Change / Jay Z’s ‘Magna Carta’ To Go Platinum On First Day!

Published: Monday 1st Jul 2013 by David

Congratulations are in order for the game changer that is Jay Z.

That’s right, after watching his business partners Samsung purchase 1 million copies of his new LP ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’, he has learned that rules that would otherwise ban him from going Platinum because of this have now been changed, in a shock move made by the Recording Industry Association of America.

While some had been against the Rapper going Platinum (as its 1 million units sold didn’t truly represent consumer interest in the product), the entertainer will now see him score that feat on the project’s July 4th release date, as explained by the RIIA below:

“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.

One of our program’s requirements is that an album can become eligible for certification 30 days after release date. (There are other rules, of course – such as requiring that the price of the album meet certain requirements.) The 30-day rule exists to take into account potential returns of physical product – CDs, cassettes, vinyl, etc. that could be shipped to brick and mortar retailers and returned, in which case our auditors do not count the sales.

When we first created the Digital Single Award in 2004, we elected not to impose any 30-day rule because there are very few digital returns. According to our auditing firm, digital returns on average account for less than two percent of sales included in reports provided by the labels for certification – most digital retailer Terms of Use/Service allow users to return products only under limited circumstances.
Also at the time in 2004, sales of digital albums were virtually non-existent and accounted for a small fraction of overall digital sales. Fast forward a decade and that’s obviously no longer the case.

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.

Not only do we believe it’s sensible and logical to align digital album rules with those we have maintained for digital singles since the program’s inception, we also consider today’s move in line with our larger efforts to modernize the G&P Program to reflect the new music marketplace. In May we announced the integration of on-demand streams to the program to more broadly recognize online demand for songs.

The reality is that how fans consume music is changing, the music business is changing as labels and artists partner with a breathtaking array of new technology services, and the industry’s premier award recognizing artists’ commercial achievement should similarly keep pace. In short, we’re continuing to move the 55-year-old program forward and it’s a good day when music sales diversification and innovative strategies meet the RIAA’s time-tested, gold standard requisites for certification.

Liz Kennedy
Director, Communications and Gold & Platinum Program, RIAA.”


While some will be against this rule change, we can’t but commend the RIAA for acknowledging the ever changing world of sales, and how they are generated.

If this were anybody else, we’d probably be against this change too. However, considering Jay has never been a stranger to shifting major units, we see this as more of a ‘bonus’ than ‘lifeline’ for the new album, as it probably would have shifted near a million without Samsung’s help anyway.

However, it’s still worth asking the following…

In a world where most acts don’t have Jay’s corporate pull, how fair is this rule to acts (Lil Wayne, Britney, Taylor) who shifted a million the traditional way?


Let us know below!

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  1. iAmJamesAl July 1, 2013

    THIS IS WHAT YOU CALL STAR POWER!!! Jay-Z re-writes the rules… You can say what you want, but when he said I’ll Change The Game… HE MEANT THAT S***!!!!

    • BarbzRUs July 1, 2013

      He’s gonna look dumb as f*** when someone else comes and sells that much without cheating.

      • FentySoSnatched July 1, 2013

        Everyone knows TGJ worship the ground Jay walks on so they won’t see anything wrong with this.
        Discounting is one thing but buying your own albums or getting someone to do it for you is NOT how selling songs works.
        Mad f***** up.

      • VisionOfMimi July 1, 2013

        Wow Grape, so yall wanna sit there and pretend like Jay sells anymore than 400,000 on his own? I see you twisting facts for your faves again and it’s so damn atrocious.
        Jay has never sold 1 million first week before, in fact he rarely even sells 400,000 so why are you lying to your readers for him.
        HE CHEATED.

      • TruthSpeaker July 1, 2013

        FentySoSnatched… getting someone to buy your albums for you isn’t how selling works? Someone get this b**** a book on sales ethics. Umm- you know the point of selling a product is for said product to be purchased, right? Samsung basically paid up front for something that will be bundled together with the sales of phojnes. PRODUCT SOLD. you mad cuz he figured out a smart way to hit platinum. gtfo ridiculous seedy stan with your nonsense speaking self

  2. Jay Jay July 1, 2013

    Love Jay-Z and I’m a huge fan of his and I admire the creative marketing behind his project but this is b*******. Now big acts like your Rihanna, Katy, beyonce etc will have manufactures like Samsung buy albums in bulk to get certified faster. I understand the music industry is not the same 10 years ago but still.

  3. Jay Jay July 1, 2013

    Love Jay-Z and I’m a huge fan of his and I admire the creative marketing behind his project but this is b*******. Now big acts like your Rihanna, Katy, beyonce etc will have manufactures like Samsung buy albums in bulk to get certified faster. I understand the music industry is not the same 10 years ago but still.

  4. Yaz July 1, 2013

    Ok whatever people care too much about sales just listen to the music and enjoy dammit.

  5. Suicide Blonde July 1, 2013

    Well, he did sell 1 million though.

    • OVODasher July 1, 2013

      He didn’t sell a million, but he SOLD a million. What’s the point in them giving us new albums if the rich can just have their rich friends buy their albums for them and go to number one. It’s f***** up and just goes to show how insecure Jay and Beyonce are.

      • Yaz July 1, 2013

        Why would Beyonce and Jay Z be insecure with all their success and money. They just have power and why not use it.

      • b**** sit July 1, 2013

        If they was big and powerful like you claim then why used staged tactics to sell? and just because they got powder does not mean they have to abuse it every chance they get. #TheReach #YourFaves a freud

      • Yaz July 1, 2013

        Err because they are business and money minded. That doesn’t equal insecurity.

  6. NaviKissKiss July 1, 2013

    He’s so jealous of the real big shots that he had to cheat to sell like them.

  7. JJFan1814 July 1, 2013

    Let’s be real; Had Rihanna done this and RIAA “changed” the rules for her TGJ would be bashing, crying, and in later posts throwing shade ‘unable to sell albums the traditional way’….

    We all know that’s the truth tea.

    But I guess chile…

    • SLAYRIAH CAREY (JLO? WHO IS THAT?) July 1, 2013

      I agree

    • etone July 1, 2013


      yes, if she did back deals to go platinum in a day
      tgj would have a fit. im not mad at Jayz but they are jealous of his artist Rihanna.

  8. Just To Say July 1, 2013

    Jay Z has always been a decent album seller though regardless.

    • Peter July 1, 2013

      Decent, but no way in hell would he pull platinum in a week by himself. Really shameful, it’s not even about the music anymore.

  9. Smh July 1, 2013

    So anyone can pull this stunt now? B*******! Whatever he SELLS in his first week is what he sold. He is so f****** arrogant and overrated. I cannot.

  10. Rosie July 1, 2013

    Well, he DID sell them.

    • ENOUGH ONIKA (KMART QUEEN) July 1, 2013

      to ONE customer…

      • Rosie July 1, 2013

        Still outsold the Re-Up.

  11. hmmm July 1, 2013

    I am confused as to hwat this means????

    So labels can buy RIAA certifications by striking deals with corporations??

    Confused. I guess RIAA is now officially irrelvant.

    But that happened when they decided to count vevo/youtube views as a part of actual sales.

  12. briej July 1, 2013

    what happen to artist selling physical albums and singles without the help from Cellphones companies. The legends never had this problem so what if your album sell slow its called longevity for example: Michael jackson ‘Bad’ album 6 #1 singles 8million in 3YEARS after it’s release date in the US alone and 45million worldwide to present date now you got jayz,beyonce,lady gaga nicki, and other artist using gimmicks to sell records smh If you’re album is good then it will sell “If you are what you say you are a superstar then have no fear the crowd is here and lights are on”

    • ENOUGH ONIKA (KMART QUEEN) July 1, 2013


    • News Not Gossip July 1, 2013

      For the most part people aren’t buying physical albums anymore, being that cell phones eliminate the use of having to buy a separate music player, so most of the major record stores went out of business and you’re left with getting physical albums from Walmart and Target, but people aren’t necessarily making the trips to Target and Walmart for cd’s as they were when you had stores like The wiz, Sam Goody, Tower Records,etc

  13. ENOUGH ONIKA (KMART QUEEN) July 1, 2013

    I don’t get why you would be “proud” of that though tbh. That doesn’t represent consumers, just a company. That award then just becomes a name and nothing else. But whatever, that’s people goal anyway, to say they went “platinum” even though the music is awful half the time ie Rihanna. Reminds me of Onika boosting about being certified platinum with SHIPMENTS of a million and SALES of 500,000…

  14. Love Life July 1, 2013

    Im not mad. He did technically sell them!

    Its similar with the other rule made with digital stuff counting

  15. Lexxus July 1, 2013

    No props are due for this utter nonsense..

    It comes across as a very shabby trick and almost deception .

    It’s a fast track way of ensuring an album sales are consistent. Jay is a good seller and he would of done just fine without all of this, but this is greedy, manipulative and just wrong. I bet beyonces team is takin careful notes to ensure she sells like this too. ! It’s just very very wrong

  16. Hadley July 1, 2013

    Ugh I don’t know why people are so bothered its not affecting your pockets.

    • ENOUGH ONIKA (KMART QUEEN) July 1, 2013

      No ones “bothered,” we’re just not here for this. This certifications USE to mean something of significance, now ANYONE can BUY a certification while really the music is sh*t and no ones really buying it…

  17. JD July 1, 2013

    I don’t understand why people are hating. Music does not sell the way they sold in the 90’s and early 2000’s. You always have to think outside the box and that’s exactly what he did. He’s a business man and that’s what business men do. You have big selling artists from the 90s and early 2000’s struggling to go platinum now and they have major talent. This man already sells 500,000 plus albums everytime he drop he just stepped his game up. Instead of hating people need to learn that you can step outside the box and do different things to get your music across. Now he will have Samsung customers who may not even know his music like that bumping it when they get there cell phones now….GENIOUS

    • TaylorWins July 1, 2013

      Thinking outside of the box doesn’t include getting companies to buy your albums for you.

  18. Jay Jay July 1, 2013

    Lets not forget Adele went diamond in the us (10 million +) and 25 million worldwide without any any schemes. If your music is good then you should be able to sell it. Point blank period

    • CBE July 1, 2013

      LMAO! YES…If this doesnt prove the music industry is fixed then I dont know what will.

      Jay z has never sold over 500 000 copies! JT,lil Wayne, Taylor Swift sell platinum first week…this is b*******! if he sells 250-300 000 first week, thats what I will recognize.

  19. Alex July 1, 2013

    I swear the RIAA create new rules just out of sheer boredom. It’s so unprofessional…and tiring.

  20. TaylorWins July 1, 2013

    So If I was friends with the CEO of a huge company I could get them to buy 1 million copies of my album and I’d be allowed to chart?
    So sad, so desperate and such a mockery. He sold a million to 1 customer who we don’t even know bought the album. For all we know he could have paid for them himself because digital albums don’t cost anything to manufacture.

  21. kc36 July 1, 2013

    Just another way of trying to get numbers. I know things are not the way it used to be but this isn’t really about the people.It’s always about business. Gone are the days when the people decide if something is good. Just get Samsung or apple or any big name cellphone carrier or phone to buy some in one swoop. Oh well something else for him to brag about I guess.

  22. Revolution July 1, 2013

    Oh man its not that serious I agree @JD its a new way of thinking out of the box album sales are on the decline with the change in times artists like Adele are once in a blue moon majority of the biggest pop stars CANNOT sell like the sales in the past and the rule applies to everyone now not just Jay Z I don’t see the big fuss.

    • Stav July 1, 2013

      Disagree. I think artists today aren’t compelling people to buy their albums like in the past. Adele may seem like once in a blue moon, but she still proved that if millions of people want your album, then millions of people will make the effort to buy it. And she did with good old fashion, tried and true, word of mouth. She didn’t employ these tacky tactics that today’s pop stars desperately try, and still don’t see double platinum.

      If you can only sell singles, but can’t move the albums they’re cut from, then the problem is YOU. You’re the one not convincing the public that your whole album will be worth their $10.

      That being said, as much as I like Jay-Z, I disagree with this. It’s a scheme; like Lady Gaga all over again. And shame on RIAA for placating it. RIAA needs to put its foot down and basically say “look, if you can’t sell a million physical copies, then you can’t have a platinum plaque.”

  23. JanetXone July 1, 2013

    Why would you be proud of this. This is literally like buying your own album and bragging about how many copies you bought yourself. Not cool.

  24. LaLa July 1, 2013

    Majority of you wont mad when it eventually benefits your faves.

    • LaLa July 1, 2013

      wont be*

    • HausMuthaAdele July 1, 2013

      Yes I would, because part of slaying is about getting people to like you and buy you. It’s no fun when you cheat.

  25. NAVY NICK July 1, 2013

    I agree with YAZ – just enjoy the music, WHO CARES abotu the rest? we ALL use digital music more than a cd anyways!

    • Navy Sailor July 1, 2013

      If that’s the case, why was he so pressed to “change the rules”?

      • Lou July 1, 2013

        Because he is a businessman.

      • Navy Sailor July 1, 2013

        Or does he just want the bragging rights that comes along with selling 1 million in the first week?

      • Lou July 1, 2013

        No I don’t think that’s Jay Zs mind-set tbh. He is all business.

  26. ZANIA July 1, 2013

    Jay Z last album with Kanye didn’t even sell half of that the first week. As of today, I think Chart news says Watch the Throne sold 1,500,000, so why do people think that Jayz can move 1 million on his own, in this economy.

  27. Brazilian Beyonce!!! July 1, 2013

    Jay Z!! Yasss
    Slayriah is still mad 🙂 ?

  28. NΛVI July 1, 2013

    S*** ain’t t even that serious. You guys argue way too much about sales. I sometimes wonder if you guys even enjoy the music regardless of how much it or did not sell. Like, it’s the same s*** with you haters everyday… who went gold, who flopped, who might go platinum. LIKE do you guys even listen to the music just for the sake of it or do you listen to it base how much it sells PLUS do enjoy more if sell a lot or do you like it less cause it didn’t sell enough?!!???!! THE IGNORANCE? F-UCK OUTTA HERE..

    • LIttle Monster July 1, 2013


    • Navy Sailor July 1, 2013

      Gurl you’ve been on here long enough to know that TGJ is all about the sales.

    • Lou July 1, 2013

      I actually agree with you tbh! I even get a hint from some of the people on here (mentioning no names) sales is one of the main influences their depiction of music and who they stan for. People are too concerned about sales and stats.

      • Stav July 1, 2013

        …and the sad part is that they’re stanning for s***** sales. Some of my favorite artists have albums that are RIAA certified 4,5,6…10x platinum in the US alone. While these current crop of pop fans are acting like they’re favorites are “slaying” because they might crawl to platinum in a few months, after a hand full of obscene discounts. LOL Please!

  29. Jeez July 1, 2013

    So now big companies can buy #1 albums…oh wait Sony did it for years with Mariah the difference being that now she can make a deal with Cheeze it to promote their product in exchange they buy 2 millions of her next album to secure her a #1 she was not going to get otherwise.

  30. JER July 1, 2013

    The RIAA doesnt matter anymore. Not them certifying Justin Brier’s “Baby” Diamond. Not them suing teenagers for DLing songs. No RIAA nobody cares. Theyre just mad its not te 90s and labels arent running to the RIAA to overcertify their overshipped records still sitting on the shelf to this day

  31. DOSSOME July 1, 2013

    Soundscan & Billboard won’t count the 1 million albums so no big deal…RIAA obviously is certifying it platinum for shipments…for example,Shania Twain’s “UP” has been certified 11 times Platinum yet it has sold only 5,410,000 copies in U.S.A.RIAA has been doing this for ages,some albums are certified for shipments while others are certified for sales.

    • Absolved July 1, 2013

      Up was a double album, and double albums cost more…thus they account for twice the shipments/certifications.

  32. Lou July 1, 2013

    Oh whatever. RIAA lost credit a long time ago anyway not just because of this I could care less. If Jay Zs album is good i’ll support.

  33. Honest Management July 1, 2013

    I think its extremely creative marketing regardless of who did it. In this case it happens to be Jay-Z, a man who is still in the game only because he’s having fun shaking things up creatively and pushing the envelope. Its pretty exciting to me, I like seeing ideas like this come into fruition don’t yall? Forget his his finances or status (he earned that), its about he and his teams savvy. They dreamed up a bomb idea and it paid off. Hats off, I love it! #HM #WeWork

  34. Dev July 1, 2013

    Didn’t he sing in a new song that because a person works hard that they are accused of the illuminati? Here is proof! How can Drake buy multiple copies of J Coles albums and the rule is that only one counts, the a company who he has a business venture with is buying 1 million copies and the rules have been changed? Now, we all know that this has been going on for years behind the scenes, but this is a joke.

  35. Jake July 1, 2013

    You guys care too damn much if he sells 1.500.000 first week you’ll know he only sold 500K ! Simple maths . And plus everyone that has a Samsung is not going to get Jay-Z’s album , like 1/3 probably will really want it .
    I see it as we pay big time for our phones and these corporation are giving us little presents like this!
    Why do you care if Jay-Z is selling 1 or 2 million first week ? You ain’t getting money anyway you will just save some if u have a samsung so … And we all know he’s getting the first spot anyway , even with no damn single and promotions! That’s just the Carters , only them!

    • Gilberto July 1, 2013

      “You guys care too damn much if he sells 1.500.000 first week you’ll know he only sold 500K ! Simple maths”

      Simple maths? I call it simple b*******. Samsung BOUGHT 1 million albums from Jay-Z. The key word is BOUGHT. He didn’t give them for free, he sold them. In the end of the day, he will get paid. If his next album sells 500k in regular retailers, he’ll get paid as he sold 1.5kk million albums. He’s winning, no matter what they say or think. He’s laughing his way to the bank.

      “everyone that has a Samsung is not going to get Jay-Z’s”

      According to whom? You? Firstly, everyone will not get it because only one-million people will get for “free”. Secondly, Jay-Z is a major rap star, all of his albums went #1 and Platinum without any top 10 hit, chart-topping producers, huge promotion etc. Thirdly. Samsumg is going to give them for free! Why wouldn’t you get something for free? Unless you’re really dumb. I bet it won’t have any album left on Samsung’s servers after an hour.

  36. Mark111 July 1, 2013

    I don’t get the big deal, Samsung bought a million and giving it to the first million users who own a Galaxy S3, 4 and Note 2. EVERYONE doesn’t own those phones, so there still gonna be people going out to buy this album ON TOP of the million he already sold. So it still gonna do at least 400K and billboard isn’t gonna count the million Samsung bought, so it still gonna be a #1 album off of “real” sells.

  37. Edgy_Timeless July 1, 2013

    This motha *** now forcing his dreadful music down ppl throats just to sell. What happen to if I like ur music i’ll buy it.. If not i’ll keep it moving. So if ppl buy an Samsung phone they automatically buy his album basically. Mess! If I were buying a Samsung phone now ill make sure I request that I don’t want my s*** coming with no damn Jay Z shits. They’re better off giving away Dr.Dre headbeats fo free. Give me something ill actually use. Now watch her his damn wife do the samething with Pepsi.

  38. Las Vegas July 1, 2013

    Don’t love this because its not representative of who actually is purchasing his CD. Yes Samsung bought the album but they are giving them away free to people who buy their cell phone regardless of if they want it or not. Some that are buying the phone may have never picked up Jays CD but they are automatically counted? The music industry is suffering but this is a wee bit desperate and the fact RIAA supports these tricks is more evidence that this is all smoke and mirrors, from the labels, artists, media, to corporations, certifying bodies,etc to present success to us the public.

  39. Rancor July 1, 2013

    I say take away cellphones and bring back record stores.
    The iGeneration has killed the music industry.

  40. blue July 1, 2013

    people dont get it twisted just cause riaa is gonna certify the album doesnt mean billboard will let it chart with those sales…as far as i know billboard counts multiple(more then 4-5) copies sold to one consumer as one purchase…

  41. blue July 1, 2013

    Again people RIAA will certify the album as having sold 1 million copies which it had, but billboard will not let it chart as it does not represent consumer interest which is what billboard is about…

    RIAA – how much product you moved, this is why they certify albums based on shipment cause thats how much the label/artist has moved(artist to store)

    Billboard – consumer interest in the product, why 5 copies by one customer is counted as one, they look at the movement of the product over the counter(store to consumer)

  42. He is a fraud i tell you July 2, 2013

    both him and his wife are frauds..nuff said

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