Just six days after its release as a TIDAL exclusive, Jay-Z’s thirteenth solo album has achieved Platinum certification in the US.

According to the body which gives out these Awards in the US, 4:44 has ‘sold’ at least 1 million copies.

Of course, the record isn’t even technically for sale. The TIDAL owner could have achieved the feat via the album being streamed the equivalent of 1 million times. But it’s more likely that prepaid downloads were involved.

In the US, one equivalent album unit is equal to one album sale, 10 tracks sold from an album, or 1,500 on-demand audio and/or video streams from an album.

However, the feat wasn’t achieved on streams alone. According to Variety, the photograph RIAA used to make the announcement (below) was taken before 4:44’s release.

No, it’s not the Illuminati hard at work, 4:44 was initially exclusively available as a stream to TIDAL and Sprint customers on June 30. But on July 2, the LP was offered at 444.tidal.com as a free download, sponsored by Sprint.

It’s possible then that Jay-Z mirrored his Platinum success with Magna Carta Holy Grail in 2013, when Samsung prepaid for 1 million copies as part of an exclusivity deal. The record went Platinum instantly and was recognised by the RIAA.

Adding more weight to the theory that 4:44 had gone Platinum before it was even released, Roc Nation has told Billboard that “the certification reflects 1 million downloads, and no streams were applied towards the certification.”

Billboard has said its current pricing policy means that the Sprint-supported downloads will “not count towards 4:44’s chart ranking.” Meaning, if 4:44 debuts at #1 then it would have been based on his first-week streams only.

:: Jay-Z’s 4:44 has been illegally downloaded almost 1M times, but are exclusives to blame?