Jay-Z & Samsung promotional deal prompts the RIAA to change their policy

by Ashy to Jazzy in

Jay Z Magna Carta Holy Grail Samsung promo RIAA 

Jay-Z & Samsung team up for digital album sales promotion for "Magna Carta Holy Grail", prompts RIAA to rewrite policy

 Jay Z announced during the NBA finals  that he teamed up with Samsung on the release of his upcoming July 4 album "Magna Carta Holy Grail". In a video promo announcing the album release, Jay Z equated the internet music era to "the Wild West" and that laws had to be written or "rewritten". On Monday, the RIAA responded:

We think it’s time for the RIAA – and Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman – to align our digital song and album certification requirements. That’s why today we are officially updating this rule in our G&P Program requirements. Going forward, sales of albums in digital format will become eligible on the release date, while sales of albums in physical format will still become eligible for certification 30 days after the release date.

Not only do we believe it’s sensible and logical to align digital album rules with those we have maintained for digital singles since the program’s inception, we also consider today’s move in line with our larger efforts to modernize the G&P Program to reflect the new music marketplace. In May we announced the integration of on-demand streams to the program to more broadly recognize online demand for songs.

The reality is that how fans consume music is changing, the music business is changing as labels and artists partner with a breathtaking array of new technology services, and the industry’s premier award recognizing artists’ commercial achievement should similarly keep pace. In short, we’re continuing to move the 55-year-old program forward and it’s a good day when music sales diversification and innovative strategies meet the RIAA’s time-tested, gold standard requisites for certification.

Whether you are a fan of Jay Z and his music or not, you can't deny that Hov has always been a game changer. Whether or not this was another planned marketing move, Jay Z saw an area within the music industry that needed renovation and made a move. But Hov was absolutely right, the internet is the "wild west" and it's time for the "rulemakers" to get with the times.  

The RIAA policy was based on data from 2004......yeah, 2004!  

When we first created the Digital Single Award in 2004, we elected not to impose any 30-day rule because there are very few digital returns. According to our auditing firm, digital returns on average account for less than two percent of sales included in reports provided by the labels for certification – most digital retailer Terms of Use/Service allow users to return products only under limited circumstances.
Also at the time in 2004, sales of digital albums were virtually non-existent and accounted for a small fraction of overall digital sales. Fast forward a decade and that’s obviously no longer the case.

Think about all that has changed within the "online" and digital world in the past decade. Now think that these policies were based on information from a decade ago. Jay Z has always managed to stay ahead of the game from a business-standpoint. Even though he's been in the game since the late 80's/early 90's, he's more "with it" than a lot of newer artists. We need our policies to reflect the current times, not just within the music world but within all avenues of business and especially within the political world. Sometimes there's resistance to change merely because someone's "stuck in the ways". From smartphones to tablets to laptops, 4g and wifi hotspots, we are in an increasingly digital age. We need our thought process to reflect the times we live in, not what we're used to. 

When I was younger I remember my Mom saying "you're not just going to sit in front of the Nintendo all day, go outside". I hear parents and grandparents saying "you're glued to that smartphone [or tablet]", which may be true but a phone isn't just a phone anymore. A phone is now a gaming device, a camera, a camcorder, a book reader, an internet browser, a voice memo, a calendar, whatever you need it to be. We need our thinking to modernize with the technology. We are in the information age now, children born in this past decade have had endless information within the press of a few buttons. Imagine the possibilities, rather than discourage being attached to a smart device let's encourage smarter behavior. As Hov said, it's the wild west.....time to rewrite the rules!

Don't forget, when you're copping Jay Z's new album "Magna Carta Holy Grail" to stop back here and grab that new Workin Class EP "Daydream" for FREE download