JAY-Z’s new album 4:44 has been certified platinum after selling one million copies in just five days – or has it?
On Wednesday, the rapper’s record company Roc Nation published a photo of the newly capped JAY with the CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
In the photo, pictured above, you can see the two men holding a platinum frame for his latest record but, according to Variety, the photo was taken before the album was even released.
That would explain how an album released exclusively in a digital platform could sell the streaming equivalent of one million sales (1.5 billion streams) in just five days.
4:44, the artist’s 13th studio album, is available exclusively on Tidal, JAY’s streaming service.
Tidal has around three million subscribers, which means that for it to have been listened to 1.5 billion times each user would have had to stream it 500 times.
In a special report, the magazine explains that the album reached platinum due to an agreement between Tidal and mobile firm Sprint – one of Tidal’s biggest shareholders – who then offered the album to all of its customers.
None of this is illegal, since RIAA rules allow for this to happen, as long as the album’s are paid for in some way.
In fact, it is common practice at Roc Nation, with JAY’s previous album Magna Carta: Holy Grail having benefited from a similar deal with Samsung.
It does, however, put in question a system which allows for a shareholding company with vented interests to buy out an official certification.