The streaming revolution continues!
Fresh from the furore that arose when the RIAA certified Rihanna‘s free album ‘ANTI’ Platinum for sales of 1 million, the industry force has announced radical new plans that will only add to the heated debate.
At the tail end of 2014, Billboard revealed that chart placements would now factor in streaming from on-demand services such as Spotify and VEVO.
Until today, the “SPS / sales plus streaming ” model essentially only impacted where a release would land on the weekly chart.
This morning, though, the RIAA took it a step further by confirming – effective immediately – that audio and video streams will count towards Gold & Platinum (G&P’s) Album Certifications. It’s a move which follows a similar update to the singles certifications in 2013.
Put simply, this now means that the program’s iconic benchmarks – 500,000 (Gold), 1,000,000 (Platinum) and 2,000,000 plus (multi-Platinum) – will count both sales and streams for single and album certifications.
Speaking on the change, RIAA CEO Sherman, Chairman said:
“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.
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.”
With the new rules, 17 albums have “earned” Gold or Platinum certifications. Included are:
* Big Sean “Dark Sky Paradise” (Def Jam Recordings) Platinum
* Coldplay “Ghost Stories” (Atlantic/Parlophone) Platinum
* Fifth Harmony “Reflection” (Epic) Gold,
* Kendrick Lamar “To Pimp a Butterfly” (TDE/Interscope) Platinum,
* Michael Jackson “Thriller” (Epic/Legacy) 32X Multi-Platinum,
* The Weeknd “Beauty Behind the Madness” (XO/Republic Records)
For the most part, this is absolute, unquestionable trash.
How a free stream of music one may not even like now counts towards a “certification” is a joke.
To put it into perspective, The Weeknd’s album has only sold 900k, yet – under the new rules – is “2x Platinum.” Bye Felicia and everyone involved with this.
The only, slight, upside to this episode is that it finally may equal the playing field for acts who aren’t getting the push (at radio and the like), but are getting the views.
Still, shocking stuff.
The industry is now giving out Platinum plaques like bus passes. A mess.