The Recording Industry Association of America's 55-year-old barometer for measuring an artist's or group's commercial success continues to evolve. Just weeks after altering its Gold & Platinum Awards Program to include on-demand audio and video streams, the RIAA this week has made another tweak to "modernize" the certification process.
Digital sales of an album will now count toward the certification requirements beginning on the album's release date — instead of the 30-day wait time that was initially instituted to accurately tally physical sales (CDs, cassettes, vinyl and other formats).
The RIAA admits Jay-Z's marketing stunt with Samsung for the July 4 release of Magna Carta Holy Grail influenced the rule change. The rapper is giving away one million copies of the album, purchased for $5 each by Samsung, to one million owners of the Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note II. Those owners must download an app to snag a copy.