RIAA Says Streaming Will Now Count Toward Platinum and Gold Certifications

RIAA Says Streaming Will Now Count Toward Platinum and Gold Certifications


Big news today coming out of the RIAA…

The Recording Industry Association of America will now recognize streaming as counting toward its Gold and Platinum certifications. In light of the massive success of streaming over the past years, the RIAA has decided to look at streams as a method of judging popularity and success of pieces of music.However, one stream will not equal one sale.

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.

RIAA did not release how those figures came to be, but it’s safe to say that they were not decided upon lightly. What does this mean for one of the most-streamed genres of all, EDM? Well, unfortunately not much. To be certified 1x Platinum, a track must accrue 1,500,000,000 streams. Only a handful have even passed the 1 billion mark, such as Major Lazer or Kygo.

No electronic artists/tracks were included in today’s certification, although Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is now at 32x Platinum.

“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,” said Cary Sherman, Chairman and CEO, RIAA. “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.”

You can read the full release from the RIAA here.


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