(AllHipHop News) The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has modernized its Gold & Platinum Program to reflect the changing marketplace of music consumption. The RIAA will include on-demand audio and video streams and a track sale equivalent in Gold & Platinum Album Awards. The program’s 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,” 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.”
The new Album Award formula is 1,500 on-demand audio and/or video song streams equals 10 track sales which equals 1 album sale. The RIAA’s Digital Single Award ratio has been updated from 100 on-demand streams equals 1 download to 150 on-demand streams equals 1 download.
Under the new model several Hip Hop and R&B artists earned gold or platinum plaques. Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly and Big Sean's Dark Sky Paradise are now certified platinum. Wale's Ambition is now certified gold. The Weeknd's Beauty Behind the Madness is 2X multi-platinum, and Michael Jackson's classic album Thriller is 32X multi-platinum.
Billboard began counting streaming and track equivalent sales in its album charts in 2014. Every 1,500 streams equals 1 album sale, and every 10 downloads of individual tracks add up to one album.