Jay-Z’s new album changes the rules of music (in a dumb way that should annoy you)

Jay-Z's new album changes the rules of music (in a dumb way that should annoy you)

For those of you who have elected to fritter away your precious days on this planet with two baby carrots jammed in your ears and a replica of Agamemnon’s death mask permanently affixed to your face, allow me to brief you on two pertinent pieces of information: (A) Jay-Z is releasing an album on God’s Own July the 4th and (B) IT IS ALREADY CHANGING THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT.

According to long-established RIAA custom, artists must wait 30 days before their latest record is eligible for sales certification, i.e. gold/platinum/cadmium status. Although this might have been acceptable policy in the pre-www days of oxcarts and hardtack, the RIAA recently altered its requirements to allow digital album sales to become eligible on their release date. Physical album sales will continue to abide by the current certification policy. Administrators of the powerful recording industry lobby changed their ways once a certain erstwhile Brooklyn Nets owner pre-sold 1 million copies of Magna Carta Holy Grail Danse Manatee to Samsung, who are offering the album early to those who download a special fucking app. Just to reiterate: because the RIAA finagled with their rules and Samsung made an app, Jay-Z’s new album has already gone platinum. Technically.

“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,” says RIAA spokesperson and possible iTunes-denier Liz Kennedy. While the RIAA is pleased as a picnic to be so forward-thinking, the chartmakers at Billboard are having none of this shit: the magazine is standing by its longstanding policy of rejecting bulk sales from official tallies. Meanwhile, be sure to catch Thursday’s emotional award ceremony when the CEO of Samsung presents Jay-Z with a platinum jump drive and an American flag with his face embossed on it.

• Jay-Z: http://lifeandtimes.com
• Samsung: https://www.samsung.com

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