After Rihanna’s ANTi was streamed over 13 million times in the hours after its release (which was separate from the platinum certification that came after one million free copies were given away courtesy of Samsung), the Recording Industry Association of America has decided to change its rules on streaming.
Before, the RIAA did not take the numbers done on streaming services into account when figuring out sales of an album or single. Now the group will equate 1,500 song streams with one album sale, and 150 streams to one song download. In contrast, Billboard counts 10 digital track sales from the same album as the equivalent of one album sale and 1,500 song streams from an album as the equivalent of one album sale. No news on which services will be counted but we can assume that Spotify, Google Play, and Apple Music will be included.
This is likely to be good news for artists who have not cultivated a dedicated enough fanbase to have large numbers of people buying their albums outright. It has already changed the certification status for 17 albums, according the RIAA website.
Gold (500,000 sales)
Alt-J, An Awesome Wave
Brett Eldredge, Bring You Back
Elle King, Love Stuff
Fifth Harmony, Reflection
Vance Joy, Dream Your Life Away
Platinum (1,000,000 sales)
Big Sean, Dark Sky Paradise
Coldplay, Ghost Stories
Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly
Miranda Lambert, Platinum
Shawn Mendes, Handwritten
Multi-Platinum (2,000,000+ sales)
Michael Jackson, Thriller
Romeo Santos, Formula Vol. 2
Sam Hunt, Montevallo
The Weeknd, Beauty Behind the Madness