Friday, May 24, 2024

Jay Z New Album: Lobbying Group Caves, RIAA Will Count His 1Mil Giveaways


Jay Z’s “Magna Carta” giveaway is almost here. Samsung will send out 1 million free copies on July 4th. They bought ’em from Universal Music for five bucks each. Billboard and Soundscan so far are not counting the million copies for their charts. It’s a bulk sale, they maintain. And it’s free. Samsung also bought the albums for half the price they’d sell for on iTunes or amazon.

But the RIAA has caved in. The Record Industry Association of America gives platinum and gold albums based on “shipped units” not actual sales. Until yesterday they waited 30 days to see what returns came in before they gave the awards. But yesterday they announced that with digital sales they won’t wait anymore. And they will count the “Magna Carta” give away.

No surprise. The RIAA has five people from Universal Music on its board. They’re not exactly cutting edge, they go where the wind takes them, where it blows, so to speak. They’re the group that sues grandmothers for downloading, but let Bit Torrent, Pirate Bay and Lime Wire run wild for years until the record business was decimated.

It’s not to see they took a hard line on this one. Jay Z probably got his platinum album yesterday afternoon. Meantime, though I downloaded the app from Samsung, I’ve never actually been able to see the lyrics to the songs. A big gray box cuts them off. God knows what I’m missing…


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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