Jay-Z has the power. The release strategy adopted by him for his 13th album Magna Carta Holy Grail sparked a huge debate as to whether he has already gone platinum by proving 1 million downloads of the album exclusively through Samsung. A couple of weeks ago, SoundScan said that it will not count the “sales” because an album must be sold by a label/artist/music company to a retailer (Target, Best Buy, Amazon etc.) at a minimum of one-third of the album’s suggested Retail Price, for it to be counted for Billboard charting.
RIAA, however said that the only thing that will stop Jay from achieving the Platinum status will be a rule which says that an album can become eligible for certification only 30 days after its release date.
Today, the RIAA in a press release has announced that they have changed that very rule in wake of the debate created by Jay-Z’s upcoming Magna Carta Holy Grail release. The 30-day rule existed “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.“
That means that from now on, “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.“
The above change in the rules will mean that Jay-Z’s album will become eligible for Platinum status upon its release on July 4th. Neilsen SoundScan though is yet to announce any change to the same effect which will enable Magna Carta Holy Grail to debut on top of the Billboard charts.