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JAY-Z SPRINTS
TO PLATINUM

Jay-Z’s 4:44 has been certified platinum by the RIAA. The mogul and rap icon’s acclaimed new Roc Nation set, which has been available exclusively via Tidal with a Sprint promotion, apparently did not—despite what you might’ve read elsewhere—reach this milestone so quickly based on Tidal streams.

We reach this conclusion in part because those streams have not been reported, and also because Tidal’s entire subscriber base would have to have streamed the album once every hour since release to get to 1.5 billion streams, which is platinum SEA. (New trial users were prevented from accessing the album until that policy was reportedly reversed on Monday.)

It appears the key was the Sprint campaign, which enabled new subscribers (and, we’re told, anyone else with an email address and promo code) to get a free download.

Per RIAA rules, a sale counts toward certification even if purchased by a business and offered to fans who must take steps to acquire it. Thus if Sprint purchased a million copies of 4:44—in a deal quite similar to the Samsung agreement that catapulted Jay’s Magna Carta Holy Grail to stratospheric numbers in 2013—that’s instant platinum, bubbeleh.

All of which explains why the RIAA’s Cary Sherman was all ready with that handsome plaque to do a photo op with Jay on 4th of July weekend.

4:44 is scheduled to go wide this week.

 

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