Home Celebrity New Jay Z Album: 1 Mil Free Copies Won’t Count on Charts

UPDATE: I wrote this last Monday, June 17th: the 1 million free copies of Jay Z’s “Magna Carta” album from Samsung will not be counted by Soundscan or Billboard on the pop charts. I had already confirmed with Soundscan a week ago. Now Billboard chimes in with a letter on its website.

Here’s what I wrote:

So here it is. According to my sources, Soundscan will not count the 1 million copies of Jay Z’s new album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail.” Samsung bought the 1 million copies for five bucks apiece. They plan to give them out to the first million customers who download their Jay Z app on Samsung phones and tablets beginning June 24th. The $5 million involved is part of what’s described as a $30 million marketing plan. It’s good for Jay Z and Samsung equally. But Soundscan, which counts the units sold, won’t include that number in Jay Z’s sales.

Soundscan simply doesn’t acknowledge bulk sales.

So when “Magna Carta” debuts a couple of days later in stores and on download services, forget it. Only those copies will count toward his chart position. The Samsung million will just be part of the promotion.

Billboard will follow suit with Soundscan and not count the copies either.

But if Soundscan doesn’t count them, then it’s likely the RIAA won’t either– and that will impinge on Jay Z getting a gold or platinum album. But hey, after 10 hit albums and millions of dollars, it’s possible he doesn’t care about that anymore. Heck, “Magna Carta” doesn’t even appear on release schedules. It’s just…appeared out of nowhere.


Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is 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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