Nicki Minaj Explains How Streaming Made Her Album Triple Platinum

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If there’s one fundamental problem in music, it’s that figuring out who’s listening to what and who should get paid for it is close to impossible. Nicki Minaj illustrated this point by illustrating how The Pinkprint is actually triple platinum, despite selling less than a million copies.

Minaj laid out how the album did on Twitter, and the results (and the language used) speak for themselves:

Confusing? A quick guide: TEA stands for “track-equivalent albums,” that is, songs bundled into other album purchases. Think “NOW That’s What I Call Music!”-type stuff. SEA is “streaming-equivalent album,” i.e. people who listened to the album on a service instead of buying it. So, according to Minaj’s own label, it’s triple-platinum, and all she has to do is wait to see how the rules change.

Of course, this opens the door to arguments over how and whether streaming an album counts as a “sale,” because by that standard somebody’s likely moved a billion albums by now, even by the hazy math of the record industry. And Minaj certainly has a distinct opinion on the subject. But we’ll leave that to comments sections under YouTube videos; currently the RIAA is considering how the rules should be changed, and will have an opinion in March.

(Via Rolling Stone)