Due to the Internet Age and the technologically advanced means in which music is now consumed, the Recording Industry Association of America has modified its Gold and Platinum album guidelines to include on-demand audio and video streams and a track sale equivalent in Gold and Platinum album awards. Because of the new standards, now Hip Hop artists Kendrick Lamar and Big Sean have earned platinum plaques for their albums To Pimp A Butterfly and Dark Sky Paradise respectively.
Other albums that have now received Gold and Platinum recognition include Wale’s Ambition, which is now certified gold, The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness, which is now 2X multi-platinum, and Michael Jackson’s classic album Thriller is now a record breaking 32X multi-platinum.
“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,” said Cary Sherman, the Chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America. “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.”