NEW YORK, N.Y. – Jay-Z’s got 99 problems and the Billboard chart is one.
Billboard said Friday it will not include the 1 million album downloads Jay-Z is giving to Galaxy mobile phone users through a deal with Samsung. Jay-Z announced the partnership this week. His new album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” will be released July 7, but it will go out to 1 million Samsung users on July 4.
In a letter posted on Billboard’s website, editorial director Bill Werde says it won’t count the downloads because Samsung ultimately isn’t selling the album on its phones. He adds that it wasn’t easy turning down Jay-Z’s request to include the downloads on the Billboard chart.
Werde writes: “The passionate and articulate argument by Jay’s team that something was for sale and Samsung bought it … doesn’t mesh with precedent.”