RIAA Debuts Album Awards Including Audio, Video Streams
February 1, 2016 at 11:41 AM (PT)
The RIAA announced a new Album Award methodology for its Gold & Platinum program. Effective today, the RIAA will include on-demand audio and video streams and a track sale equivalent in configuring its awards. 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.
“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 RIAA Chairman/CEO CARY SHERMAN. “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 programs, and doing so enables RIAA to fully reward the success of artists’ albums today.”
Seventeen titles, encompassing albums from dozens of music labels and spanning many genres, are included in the inaugural certifications for the newly expanded honor. RIAA is today awarding the following artists with new certifications: ALT-J “An Awesome Wave” (ATLANTIC) Gold, BIG SEAN “Dark Sky Paradise” (DEF JAM) Platinum, BRETT ELDREDGE “Bring You Back” (ATLANTIC NASHVILLE) Gold, COLDPLAY “Ghost Stories" (ATLANTIC/PARLOPHONE) Platinum, ELLE KING “Love Stuff” (RCA) Gold, FIFTH HARMONY “Reflection” (EPIC) Gold, HALSEY “Badlands” (ASTRALWERKS) Gold, HOZIER “HOZIER” (COLUMBIA) Platinum, KENDRICK LAMAR “To Pimp a Butterfly” (TOP DAWG ENTERTAINMENT/INTERSCOPE) Platinum, MICHAEL JACKSON “Thriller” (EPIC/LEGACY) 32X Multi-Platinum, MIRANDA LAMBERT “Platinum” (RCA NASHVILLE) Platinum, ROMEO SANTOS “Fórmula Vol. 2” (SONY LATIN) 11X Diamante/RIAA LATIN G&P PROGRAM, SAM HUNT “Montevallo” (MCA NASHVILLE) 2X Multi-Platinum, SHAWN MENDES “Handwritten” (ISLAND) Platinum, THE WEEKND “Beauty Behind the Madness” (XO/REPUBLIC) 2X Multi-Platinum, VANCE JOY “Dream Your Life Away” (ATLANTIC) Gold and WALE “Ambition” (ATLANTIC URBAN) Gold.
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.
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 here.