Here’s How JAY-Z’s ‘4:44’ Went Platinum Without Selling Any Copies
6 July 2017, 13:57 | Updated: 6 July 2017, 14:00
JAY-Z’s new album ‘4:44’ has officially gone platinum in just five days of its exclusive release on his streaming platform TIDAL.
The New York rapper has reached the impressive milestone for the 13th time – more than any other Hip-Hop artist in the history of RIAA’s certification program.
JAY posed with the plaque alongside RIAA president Cary Sherman.
“Props to JAY, he’s done it again! 4:44 Certified Platinum. Another Platinum album adds to an already iconic career,” read the caption.
Interestingly, the album was only available to TIDAL and Sprint customers but still went platinum in less than a week, leaving some fans confused.
However Billboard has now lifted the lid on JAY-Z’s latest business move.
“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.”
The situation mirrors JAY-Z’s 2013 album ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’, which was ‘sponsored’ by Samsung.
The tech company bought one million copies before the album was released, to offer to its customers – making the album platinum.
According to RIAA, ‘4:44’s platinum sales have been reached purely by downloads and doesn’t include TIDAL streaming figures.
The album is expected to be released on rival streaming platform this week.