The RIAA Changed Their Certification To Incorporate Streaming And A Bunch Of Artists Suddenly Went Platinum

Contributing Writer
02.01.16 2 Comments

In a move that has been a long time coming, the Recording Industry Association of America changed its certification formula to account for album streaming numbers. The RIAA is responsible for certifying albums Gold, Platinum, or Diamond in the United States, so they felt compelled to change their formula in a way that fits current listening habits.

The RIAA’s CEO Cary Sherman explained the decision in a press release:

“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.”

Under the new rules, 1,500 on-demand video or audio streams will be counted as equivalent to one physical album sale; 100 to 150 streams will count as the equivalent of a single track download.

And with this news, 17 albums were newly certified, the biggest of which was The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness. The smash album was certified double platinum under the new certification. Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly was also bumped to platinum status along with Big Sean’s Dark Sky Paradise and Coldplay’s Ghost Stories. Check out a full list of new honorees over at the RIAA’s website. Needless to say, some people were not happy with the decision to change the way album sales are measured.

There were a few supporters for the new rules.

Either way, these are the new times that we live in and the industry has to catch up to the technology.

(Via The Source)

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