If you had any questions on whether or not the 1 million copies of Magna Carta Holy Grail Jay-Z sold as a part of his joint marketing deal with Samsung will count in Jay-Z’s first week sales, the answer is no.
— Mr. Carter (@S_C_) June 17, 2013
According to MTV, they’ve confirmed with Billboard that Nielsen SoundScan will not be counting the sales, but the album still may be eligible to go platinum.
As for whether Magna Carta can go platinum before it goes on sale to the general public, a spokesperson for the Recording Industry Association of America (the folks who hand out gold and platinum certifications) told MTV News on Tuesday (June 18) that albums only become eligible for RIAA certification 30 days after their initial release date.
Billboard doesn’t count bulk sales, which means that if anyone, even, say, Beyoncé, buys a million copies of Magna Carta and gives them away as Independence Day party favors they can’t be counted as sales according to the magazine’s long-standing policy.
Also, albums must be sold by a label/artist/music company to a retailer (such as Target, Best Buy, Amazon or Samsung) at a minimum of one-third of the album’s Suggested Retail Price. According to reports, Samsung paid $5 a piece for each Jay-Z album. (It was unknown at press time what the SRP would be for Jay’s album.)
Once all that is figured out, after 30 days pass, then Jay and Universal can choose to apply for certification and the RIAA’s auditors will go over the data to determine what, if any, certification Magna Carta is eligible for.
It’ll be interesting to see how all this plays out. But honestly, when you’re at Jay-Z’s status…do you really care about chart positions?