Friday, May 17, 2024

Reality Bites, and So Do Sales of Jay Z’s “4:44” Album: Officially Hasn’t Nearly Reached Half Million


You see the signs for “4:44” everywhere. They’re on taxis, bus shelters, written on the subway walls. And for the first week of release, Jay Z’s new album was the talk of the town.

But reality bites and so do sales numbers. According to BuzzAngle, “4:44” has sold a total of 264,100 albums. That includes CDs and downloads but not streaming. If you count in streaming, including singles, the number still comes only to 364,000.

This is a far cry from the 500,000 level that the RIAA requires for a gold record, and 1 million copies shipped for platinum. Still, the RIAA awarded Jay Z a platinum album based on private sales through Tidal streaming and direct deliveries to Sprint customers.

If you downloaded the album from Sprint, let me know at

The fact  that “4:44” has sold so much less than 500,000 is startling. The money spent to promote it was huge. I guess the only way to make the money back is through Jay’s 360 deal with Live Nation. His tour starts soon, and they can hide the loss somewhere in there.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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