RIAA opens up Gold/Platinum Certification to Online Hits

The way that music is counted on the gold and platinum scale has just been altered for only the 5th time in history. In an attempt to recognize the value of online presence the RIAA will now include On-Demand hits from a number of sources towards sales credits of music.

The previous method change was in 2006, with the addition of  ringtones. Two years before that, digital downloads were included. The now “classic” CDs and cassette tapes added before that which is the standard most of us grew up on. Otherwise, the formula for Gold and Platinum certifications remained largely untouched — 500,000 unit sales for Gold, 1 million for Platinum and 10 million for Diamond.

Among the on-demand streaming services the RIAA will accept are MOG, Muve Music, Rdio, Rhapsody, Slacker, Spotify, Xbox Music and others. In addition, video streams from MTV.com, VEVO, Yahoo! Music and YouTube will also count. Under the new formula, the RIAA will distribute awards to 56 new titles, including 30 Seconds To Mars’s “This Is War,” Emeli Sandé’s “Next To Me,” and Cher Lloyd’s “Oath,” Thursday night at the National Association of Recording Merchandisers’ annual Musiz Biz conference in Los Angeles.

For the RIAA, deciding that on-demand streams should be recognized was the easy part. The hard part was in figuring out how many streams should be equivalent of a single sale. The group agonized for more than a year over that question, said RIAA Chairman and Chief Executive Cary Sherman.

The question now must be asked, will this give a better reflection of who the people are listening to or will it simply lead to more over night internet sensations claiming to be platinum artists????

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