Streaming Music's Success Pushes RIAA to Change Award Policies
The RIAA is now including streaming audio and video streams in determining Gold and Platinum album sales for musical artists.The soaring success of streaming music audio and video online is causing the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to now include on-demand audio and video streams in the sales figures when determining Gold and Platinum album awards. The RIAA announced its policy change on Feb. 1, giving the organization's 58-year-old Gold & Platinum Program its first recognition of streaming music and video sales for albums released by recording artists. The RIAA had already updated its certification rules in 2013 for digital singles. The changes for album certifications mean that streaming music will now count toward the sales of 500,000 tracks needed to achieve Gold status and the 1million sales needed to hit Platinum status. The streaming contributions will also now apply to sales over 2 million needed to achieve multi-Platinum status, according to the group. "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," 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." With the new certification changes, 17 albums are now immediately eligible for Gold or Platinum awards based on their sales.
Receiving awards are Alt-J for "An Awesome Wave" (Atlantic Records), Gold; Big Sean for "Dark Sky Paradise" (Def Jam Recordings), Platinum; Brett Eldredge for "Bring You Back" (Atlantic Nashville), Gold; Coldplay for "Ghost Stories" (Atlantic/Parlophone), Platinum; Elle King for "Love Stuff" (RCA), Gold; Fifth Harmony for "Reflection" (Epic), Gold; Halsey for "Badlands" (Astralwerks), Gold; Hozier for "Hozier" (Columbia), Platinum; and Kendrick Lamar for "To Pimp a Butterfly" (Top Dawg Entertainment/Interscope), Platinum.