RIAA Adds Digital Streams To Gold and Platinum Awards

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• May 9, 2013

RIAAThe Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) today announced the integration of streams to its historic Gold & Platinum (G&P) Program. On-demand audio and/or video song streams will now be counted towards the 500,000 (Gold), 1,000,000 (Platinum) and 2,000,000 plus (multi-Platinum) thresholds required for G&P’s Digital Single Award certification.

Fifty-six titles are included in the inaugural certifications for the newly expanded Digital Single Award. Specifically, the RIAA is awarding 11 Gold, 18 Platinum and 27 multi-Platinum new “combined” Digital Single Awards counting both downloads and streams. This includes streams from on-demand services like MOG, Muve Music, Rdio, Rhapsody, Slacker, Spotify, Xbox Music and others, plus video streaming services like MTV.com, VEVO, Yahoo! Music, YouTube and more. The new certification approach, including the formula of 100 streams being equivalent to one download, is an approximate barometer of comparative consumer activity; the financial value of streams and downloads were not factored into the equation.

“Including music streaming in Gold & Platinum awards marks the continued evolution of the industry’s premier program for recognizing artistic achievement, and it reflects the wide spectrum of ways consumers enjoy music from their favorite bands,” said Cary Sherman, Chairman & CEO, RIAA. “The music business, along with its incredible array of digital service partners, is offering fans more access to music than ever before. We’re thrilled that our awards will now more fully recognize artists’ commercial success today.”

Among the singles being awarded with new certificates are:

“Before He Cheats,” Carrie Underwood

“Alone With You” and “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” Jake Owen

“Why Don’t We Just Dance,” Josh Turner

“The Boys of Fall,” Kenny Chesney

The RIAA developed its Gold & Platinum Awards Program in 1958 to honor artists and create a standard by which to measure the commercial success of a sound recording. The program trademarked the Gold record and formalized the industry practice of presenting awards to artists for music sales achievements. The Gold & Platinum Awards program was first awarded to LP recordings but expanded to a number of formats over time to include cassette tapes, CDs, digital tracks, digital albums, ringtones, and now streams. More than 14,000 titles have been certified by the RIAA during the last 55 years.

All certifications are calculated by the firm Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman, which has audited title sales for the RIAA for more than 30 years. Complete lists of all album, single, mastertone and video awards can also be accessed at riaa.com.

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson is a staff writer with MusicRow Enterprises. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine, TasteofCountry.com and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at jnicholson@musicrow.com.

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