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RIAA to Count Album Streams, Halsey + Fifth Harmony Go Gold

Jason Kempin / Noam Galai, Getty Images
Jason Kempin / Noam Galai, Getty Images

In an attempt to keep up with the ever-changing music market, the Recording Industry Association of America (or the RIAA) has finally updated its rules in regards to album certification.

Following a confusing Twitter announcement claiming Rihanna’s long-awaited studio album Anti had gone Platinum in a mere 15 hours (meaning it had moved over one million copies), the RIAA announced an update to their certification metrics. Streams will now be counted toward overall album sales, something Billboard implemented long-ago, according to a report from Headline Planet.

1500 single streams, 10 single sales and one album sale all equal the sale of a single unit, according to the new rules set by the RIAA. Because of these new qualifications, a handful of albums have been newly awarded Gold and Platinum certification by the RIAA.

Both Halsey‘s Badlands and Fifth Harmony‘s Reflection have been certified Gold, while Kendrick Lamar‘s critically lauded To Pimp a Butterfly has officially reached Platinum status. The Weeknd‘s sophomore album Beauty and the Madness, meanwhile, is now considered double-Platinum.

RIAA’s CEO Cary Sherman said, in a statement, that the shift in qualifications comes from a need to keep up with the way listeners consume music. The current landscape doesn’t necessarily reflect an album’s popularity, because less people buy albums now.

“We know that music listening – for both for albums and songs – is skyrocketing, yet that trend has not been reflected in our album certifications,” Sherman wrote according to The Source. “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.”

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