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Rules are made to be broken. In light of Samsung purchasing one million copies of Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail album before its release, the RIAA has decided to update how it certifies the sales of digital albums.

Says the RIAA:

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. 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. 

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