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.
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.
Music dominates the conversation on popular social media platforms, with artists being the most followed people across these channels, and Gold & Platinum recognition is often among the most celebrated news in an artist’s social media feed. The RIAA utilizes a myriad of social media platforms – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flipagram, and a YouTube page – to market and publicize artist award achievements. The RIAA also recently unveiled a new RIAA.com and Gold & Platinum database where fans can more easily search and share the award recognition.
All certifications are calculated by the firm Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman, which has audited title sales for the RIAA for more than 30 years. Complete lists of all album, single, and other awards can be accessed at http://www.riaa.com/gold-platinum/.