Music Charts — February 5, 2016 at 5:05 pm

Streaming services now included in RIAA’s Gold, Platinum and Multi Platinum Awards;



With the way that consumers listen to music taking a rapid shift towards streaming in recent years, the Recording Industry Association of America has announced a new set of rules that mean that streamed songs are now included when doling out Gold and Platinum certifications for albums.


With streaming services eclipsing physical sales for the first time in 2015, it is clear that relying solely on music purchased through traditional means is not an accurate reflection of the popularity of a song or album. Increasingly, people are turning to streaming services to get their musical fix with Apple Music hitting an important milestone of 10 million subscribers earlier in January.


Streaming services like Spotify, TIDAL and Apple Music have increased the reach and discoverability of a number of artists – from hip hop to indie and have become the primary source of music for many music fans.


Reacting to this, the RIAA now will count streams towards the sales of 500,000 tracks needed to achieve Gold Status and the 1 million sales needed to hit Platinum status.


Cary Sherman, chairman and CEO of the RIAA, said in a statement. “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.”


Since the changes came into effect on February 1st, 17 albums have immediately become eligible for Gold or Platinum status based on their sales including Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly and Hozier’s self titled debut. Michael Jackson’s Thrillerwent a staggering 32x Multi Platinum.


The formula does not work on a one play equates to one sale system however. For every 1,500 on-demand audio and/or video song streams, one album sale is counted. Also announced was that the RIAA’s Digital Single Award ratio has been updated from 100 on-demand streams being equal to one download to 150 on-demand streams being equal to one download “to reflect streaming’s enormous growth in the two plus years since that ratio was set.”