Jay-Z's upcoming album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, stands to benefit from a revised RIAA policy that will now allow giveaways to count toward gold and platinum certification. On Thursday, one million Samsung users will have first dibs at downloading the new album, which is scheduled for general release on Sunday.
The Recording Industry Association of America has decided to revise a policy in which it traditionally waited 30 days to count digital sales toward certification. "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," said the RIAA's Liz Kennedy in a statement. "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."
The ruling, however, will not affect Billboard's recent decision not to count the Samsung downloads toward Jay-Z's first-week sales for the album charts.