The RIAA now recognizes streaming as part of its Album Award methodology.

By Dylan Kickham
Updated February 01, 2016 at 07:58 PM EST
C Flanigan/Getty Images

The Recording Industry Association of America announced that it will begin counting online streams in its calculations towards awarding Gold, Platinum, and multi-Platinum album and single certifications. The news comes three days after the RIAA certified Rihanna’s Anti platinum. (The album was downloaded more than 1 million times on Tidal and was streamed more than 13 million times in less than 14 hours.)

According to RIAA’s new system, described in a release on, streams will count as fractions of song and album sales. The RIAA will now equate 1,500 song streams with one album sale, and 150 streams to one song download.

“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, Chairman and CEO, RIAA, in a statement. “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.”

Thanks to the updated system, 17 albums have achieved RIAA certification. They are listed below.

Gold (500,000 sales)

Alt-J, An Awesome Wave

Brett Eldredge, Bring You Back

Elle King, Love Stuff

Fifth Harmony, Reflection

Halsey, Badlands

Vance Joy, Dream Your Life Away

Wale, Ambition

Platinum (1,000,000 sales)

Big Sean, Dark Sky Paradise

Coldplay, Ghost Stories

Hozier, Hozier

Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly

Miranda Lambert, Platinum

Shawn Mendes, Handwritten

Multi-Platinum (2,000,000+ sales)

Michael Jackson, Thriller

Romeo Santos, Fórmula Vol. 2

Sam Hunt, Montevallo

The Weeknd, Beauty Behind the Madness