Ever since 1958, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has awarded both platinum and gold certificates based on the number of albums sold by a particular artist.
The RIAA would award a platinum record to artists that sold one million copies and a gold record to artists that would sell 500,000 copies. Now the RIAA is changing their methodology altogether. In addition to sold versions of artists songs and albums, the RIAA will now count on-demand audio and video streaming along with the traditional album sales when determining whether a record is to receive gold or platinum status.
One stream doesn't quite equal one sale though in RIAA's mind. It will take 1,500 on-demand audio or video streams to equate to one album sale.
CEO of RIAA, Cary Sherman, spoke about the changes: