Yesterday evening, Pepsi darling Nicki Minaj celebrated the news that her sophomore LP ,’Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded‘, had been certified Platinum in the US.
However, as the love fest between she and her ‘Barbz’ went on on Twitter, the news came under intense scrutiny from the Rapper’s critics.
Critics, who did not understand how an LP which is yet to move 600,000 units in the US was able to be certified Platinum (1 million copies).
So, ever eager to address the issues you care most about, That Grape Juice dedicates today’s ‘Hot Topic’ to the system that is an RIAA certification.
Full explanation below…
Believe it or not, certifications do not reflect an album’s sales but rather how many copies of that album have been shipped by its label to its outlets.
So, for an album to receive a certification in the US a record label must provide all relevant legal documentation to the Recording Industry Association of America, who will verify if the label has shipped as many copies as they say they have.
Once verified (and once the label has paid for the certification) the album can then enjoy their ‘Gold’, ‘Platinum’ or ‘Diamond’ status.
As it stands, the criteria for RIAA‘s albums certifications are as follows:
- 500,000 units: Gold album
- 1,000,000 units: Platinum album
- 2,000,000 or more units: Multi-Platinum album
- 10,000,000 units: Diamond album
Of course, considering the cost of manufacturing and distributing physical copies, labels are often wary of ‘over shipping’ of a project.
This, in case supply exceeds demands forcing the outlets to ship the albums back which is not only bad for the label’s finances but also for the artist on a PR tip.
Despite this , it is impossible to ‘over-certify’ an LP seeing as there’s nothing stop a record company shipping 2 million copies for an album which is unlikely to sell half of that. On the flip side though , it is possible for an LP to be ‘under-certified’.
For example, if Beyonce‘s ‘4′ went onto shift 5 million copies more than Rihanna‘s ‘Loud‘ , the latter could pick up more certifications if Rihanna’s label made the RIAA application and Columbia didn’t.
So, what do you think?