Jay-Z teamed up with Samsung to give away up to 1m digital copies of his new ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’ album three days before its official release. The DRM-free giveaway ensured the album was all over the torrents within hours. And it’s also available to stream on Spotify. Yet STILL Jay-Z is being predicted to sell 450k-500k copies of the album in the US alone this week, with industry analysts upping their estimates from the previous 350k-400k predictions. Billboard claims that ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’ is “selling strongly with digital retailers” despite the Samsung promotion and piracy. So what does all this tell us? Well, it tells us something useful about the way giveaways, streams and sales can complement rather than cannibalise one another – at least for releases of this scale.

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