The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) announced today that they have updated their Gold (500,000 in sales) and Platinum (1,000,000 in sales) certification rubrics to include “on-demand song and video streams,” which has resulted in updated certifications for 17 artists, and surely there are more on the horizon.

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In a press release posted to their website, the Association elaborated with a statement from their CEO, Cary Sherman, who explained why they’ve decided to update their system and hand out new certifications. “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.”

After analysis of streaming services and the climate of the consumption of digital music, the RIAA came up with the following formula.

  • 1,500 on-demand audio and/or video song streams = 10 track sales = 1 album sale.
  • 100 on-demand streams = 1 download to 150 on-demand streams = 1 download

Using that formula, Big Sean‘s 2015 album, Dark Sky Paradise, was awarded Platinum certification, Wale’s first MMG LP, 2011’s Ambition, was certified Gold, The Weeknd earned a double-Platinum certification with his sophomore album, Beauty Behind the Madness, and Kendrick Lamar‘s To Pimp a Butterfly, which catapulted the Compton emcee towards 11 Grammy nominations, earned Platinum honors. Other new awardees include Shawn Mendes, Hozier, and Michael Jackson. Read the full release here.