As soon as Jay-Z announced his deal with Samsung in which the tech giant bought up 1 million copies of his new album for Samsung Galaxy owners to download early, one question abounded: Did that mean Magna Carta Holy Grail had already gone platinum? Jay-Z himself even embarked on a rare Twitter campaign regarding the matter, and now he has at least one answer. The Recording Industry Association of America has amended their rules because of Jay-Z and the disruption he hath wrought once again, and now digital sales of all albums will be eligible for record-status certification on their release date.
Previously, albums had been eligible for certification — 100,000 copies for silver, 500,000 for gold, 1,000,000 for platinum, 10,000,000 for diamond — only after 30 days post-release, to take into account returns of CDs, records, and all those other formerly relevant formats. But returns aren't relevant when it comes to digital sales, which is why the RIAA's Digital Single Award, created in 2004, does not include that lag time. "We think it's time for the RIAA — and Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman — to align our digital song and album certification requirements," Liz Kennedy of the RIAA wrote in Monday night's announcement. "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."