RIAA to Allow Streaming Sales to Count Towards Album Certifications

 RIAA has changed its rules to now count streaming towards album certifications, including Kendrick Lamar's 'To Pimp a Butterfly' (PHOTO CREDIT: Taylor Hill/Getty)
RIAA has changed its rules to now count streaming towards album certifications, including Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ (PHOTO CREDIT: Taylor Hill/Getty)

The Recording Industry Association of America has changed its rules to now factor streaming sales into its singles and albums certification process. The change has now made 17 albums either platinum or gold automatically.

“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,” RIAA’s Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman said in a statement. “We know that music listening — for both albums and songs — is skyrocketing, yet that trend had not been reflected in our album certifications. Modernizing our Album Award certifications 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.”

In the organization’s new formula, 1,500 streams will be the equivalent of 10 single-song sales or one album sale. The new rules affect a diverse collection of albums, mostly from newer artists. Debut albums from Halsey and Fifth Harmony are now certified gold, while Shawn Mendes’ Handwritten is now platinum. Meanwhile, albums like Sam Hunt’s Montevallo and The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness have gone 2x platinum. Michael Jackson’s Thriller has reached 32x Platinum, as well.

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SOURCE: Rolling Stone, Brittany Spanos