For the first time in 58 years, the Recording Industry Association of America has altered its award system. As of Feb. 1, 2016, RIAA will count the number of streams received toward gold and platinum album certifications.
The industry’s premier award program for artistic achievement in the music recording market, RIAA’s benchmarks for success include 500,000 albums sold (gold), 1,000,000 (platinum) and 2,000,000 plus (multi-platinum) and will now recognize both sales and audio, video streams for single and album certifications. RIAA Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman stated in a press release that this change was the next logical step “to fully reward the success of artists’ albums today.” The association first modernized its method in 2013 by counting on-demand streams for digital single certifications; this will now be updated as well to reflect the growing trend of streaming.
And with the announcement came a roster of artists being noticed by the association for the newly expanded certification, including Alt-J’s “An Awesome Wave” (Atlantic Records) Gold, Halsey’s “Badlands” (Astralwerks) Gold, Hozier’s “Hozier” (Columbia) Platinum, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” (Epic/Legacy) 32X Multi-Platinum, Miranda Lambert’s “Platinum” (RCA Nashville) Platinum, The Weeknd’s “Beauty Behind the Madness” (XO/Republic Records) 2X Multi-Platinum and Vance Joy’s “Dream Your life Away” (Atlantic Records) Gold.
RIAA debuted the list with a social media video post seen below:
RIAA Debuts Album Awards with StreamsThe new #RIAAAlbumAward counts sales and streams, and that’s pretty exciting. Congratulations to all 17 artists now recognized.
RIAA created its gold and platinum program in 1958, and nearly 30,000 certifications have been awarded to date. Fans can access a complete database of recognized artists and albums here.