As streaming has overtaken all manner of traditional media use, it’s been argued that the metrics have to change too.
Now the Recording Industry Association of America has announced that it’ll count streaming towards its coveted Gold and Platinum album accreditations.
The organization has decided that 1,500 audio or video streams equate to one physical album sale, likely making it easier given modern consumption habits to hit the 500,000 mark for Gold status or one million for Platinum.
Digital track sales have also been added to the album metric, with 10 of these now counted as one album sale.
Demonstrating the sheer scale of streaming taking place, the RIAA has also had to revise up its measure for singles, with 150 streams now equivalent to one sale, as opposed to the 100 figure that was first introduced two years ago.
Albums that have now gone Gold following this change include Alt-J’s An Awesome Wave, with Coldplay’ Ghost Stories achieving Platinum status, which might feel a little like cheating.
Some, like indy record label Top Dawg Entertainment, have hit out against the move, but it must be remembered that the measure was first introduced to cover vinyl sales, then expanding to the humble cassette, then CDs and even ringtones.