The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) today announced a new Album Award methodology for its Gold & Platinum Program, the industry’s premier award for recognizing artistic achievement in the music marketplace.
Effective Feb. 1, RIAA will include on-demand audio and video streams and a track sale equivalent in Gold & Platinum (G&P’s) Album Award. The modernization of the program’s album rule follows a similar update made to digital single certifications in 2013, when the RIAA first added on-demand streams to its Digital Single Award. Collectively, this now means that the program’s iconic benchmarks – 500,000 (Gold), 1,000,000 (Platinum) and 2,000,000 plus (multi-Platinum) – will count both sales and streams for single and album certifications.
“ For nearly six decades, whether it’s vinyl, CDs, downloads or now streams, the Gold & Platinum Program has adapted to recognize the benchmarks of success in an evolving music marketplace. We know that music listening – for both for albums and songs – is skyrocketing, yet that trend has not been reflected in our album certifications. Modernizing our Album Award to include music streaming is the next logical step in the continued evolution of Gold & Platinum Awards, and doing so enables RIAA to fully reward the success of artists’ albums today. ” – Cary Sherman, RIAA Chairman and CEO
After a comprehensive analysis of a variety of factors – including streaming and download consumption patterns and historical impact on the program – and also consultation with a myriad of industry colleagues, the RIAA set the new Album Award formula of 1,500 on-demand audio and/or video song streams = 10 track sales = 1 album sale. Also effective today, RIAA’s Digital Single Award ratio will be updated from 100 on-demand streams = 1 download to 150 on-demand streams = 1 download to reflect streaming’s enormous growth in the two plus years since that ratio was set.
The RIAA created its Gold & Platinum Awards Program in 1958 to honor artists and create a standard to measure the commercial success of a sound recording. The program trademarked the Gold record and formalized the industry practice of presenting awards to artists for music sales achievements. Almost 60 years since its inception, the iconic Gold & Platinum brand is the preeminent form of recognition for success in the music marketplace. At a time when many Electronic Music’ artists are releasing albums, it’s another step towards standardization of electronic music as kind and recognition of artist’ status for them.