Jay-Z's 'Magna Carta Holy Grail': Billboard won't count free downloads as sales

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Jay-Z's new album, "Magna Carta Holy Grail" won't be in stores until July 4. However, Samsung Galaxy owners will be able to preview it more than a week before, on June 24. The preview is part of a deal Jay-Z has with the electronics company rumored to be worth around $20 million.

The first million people who download the "Magna Carta Holy Grail" app to preview the album will also be able to download it for free, once released. However, Billboard has announced that those million downloads will not count as record sales, though in essence Samsung "purchased" them as part of the deal.

They say that allowing users to download the album for free, regardless of the deal between Jay-Z and Samsung, doesn't count as album sales on their charts. The minimum allowable price to a user to count as a sale is $3.49. Still, Billboard Editorial Director Bill Werde applauds Jay-Z's attempting to change the business. He even notes that perhaps one day soon Billboard's rules will change, citing streaming services like Spotify becoming a player in the music industry.

Whether they count for Billboard or not, Samsung is going full steam ahead with their promotion of the new album. They released a second commercial featuring Jay in the studio. Like the first ad, it's tagged with the phrase "The next big thing is here."

Photo/Video credit: Getty Images
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