What Makes A Gold Album?
Todd Simpson
Jan 8 2021, 05:13 AM
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From the RIAA Web Site

RIAA AND GR&F CERTIFICATION AUDIT REQUIREMENTSRIAA ALBUM AWARD
General Requirements:The RIAA recognizes the following Album Award tiers:
Gold –500,000 Units
Platinum –1,000,000Units
Multi-Platinum –2,000,000 Units (increments of 1,000,000 thereafter)Diamond –10,000,000 Units (increments of 1,000,000 thereafter)

Units are defined as follows:
Each permanent digital album or physical album sale count as 1 Unit for certification purposes.
10 permanent track downloads from the album count as 1 Unit for certification purposes.
1,500 on-demand audio and/or video streams from the album count as 1 Unit for certification purposes.

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So it's now possible to get a gold album without any actual sales, just by having wads of streams. It's unlikely, but it's possible.

Here is the document referenced.
https://www.riaa.com/wp-content/uploads/201...EQUIREMENTS.pdf

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This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Jan 8 2021, 07:19 PM
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klasaine
Jan 8 2021, 07:42 AM
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Gold in the US has always been 500,000 (since 1958)
Platinum = 1,000,000 (1976)
Diamond = 10,000,000 (1999).

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Todd Simpson
Jan 8 2021, 07:18 PM
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in 1958 the Recording Industry Association of America introduced its gold record award program for records of any kind, albums or singles, which achieved one million dollars in retail sales. These sales were restricted to U.S.-based record companies and did not include exports to other countries. For albums in 1968, this would mean shipping approximately 250,000 units; for singles the number would be higher due to their lower retail price.[4] The platinum certification was introduced in 1976 for the sale of one million units for albums and two million for singles, with the gold certification redefined to mean sales of 500,000 units for albums and one million for singles.

Unless we are looking at different sources?

QUOTE (klasaine @ Jan 8 2021, 02:42 AM) *
Gold in the US has always been 500,000 (since 1958)
Platinum = 1,000,000 (1976)
Diamond = 10,000,000 (1999).

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This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Jan 8 2021, 07:18 PM
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klasaine
Jan 8 2021, 08:03 PM
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Def 500,000 established in 1958.
From the RIAA web site ...
https://www.riaa.com/gold-platinum/about-awards/

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Todd Simpson
Jan 9 2021, 10:53 PM
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They are leaving out a bit of history it seems. The RIAA doesn't like to talk about this and just back dates their history. I did research in to this before I made the original post. It seems the numbers didn't change until 1976. Before that it was a different story. here are some bits of what I found.

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https://billboardchartrewind.wordpress.com/...ions-explained/

GOLD certifications are for albums and singles for sales of 500,000 or more.

Gold certifications began in 1958 and were originally for sales of 1,000,000. The certification was later lowered to 500,000 where it still stands today. Gold certs are marked by a small circle next to the title of the album or song.
Platinum awards began in 1976. Platinum certs were awarded to albums which have sold over 1,000,000 copies. Gold certifications for albums were lowered to 500,000 copies sold starting in 1975. The first Platinum album went to the Eagles Greatest Hits (1971-1975).


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https://musicgoldmine.com/pages/riaa-award-...with-collectors
1958-1974

Gold for 45s/singles: 1 million copies sold

Gold for LPs/albums: $1 million dollars worth of sales. This actually can be a useful piece of information to determine authenticity of an award. i.e. If the presentation plate for a LP/album award issued from 1958-1974 does not read this way you know it can't be a genuine award.

Similarly, Platinum awards did not exist until 1976. So if you see for a 45/single or LP/album RIAA platinum award issued from 1958-1975, you know it can't be genuine.

1975-1981

Gold for 45s/singles: 1 million copies sold

Gold for LPs/albums: 500,000 copies sold

Platinum awards 1976-1981 (introduced in 1976):

Platinum for 45s/singles: 2 million copies sold

Platinum for LPs/albums: 1 million copies sold

Upon the introduction of the cassette in 1979 the language on the awards was changed to X number of "albums and cassettes" sold.

In 1984 the Multi-Platinum™ award was introduced (2x, 3x multi-Platinum, etc.) The song "We Are The World" by USA For Africa became the very first multi-Platinum song at 4X multi-Platinum in 1985.



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https://www.elvis-atouchofgold.com/original-riaa/"]https://www.elvis-atouchofgold.com/original-riaa/[/url]
THE ORIGINAL RIAA GOLD RECORDS were introduced in 1958, and there were only two awards: a Gold Record for singles, and a Gold Record for LPs. To qualify, a single must have sold a minimum of 1,000,000 copies, while an LP album must have sold $1,000,000 at the manufacturer’s wholesale price. There were no “unit” sales required for LP certification, and there were no Platinum Record Awards.

The Record Industry Association of America (originally R.I.A.A., now RIAA sans periods) stepped in to offer independently audited and certified ‘official’ awards in place of the common awards made by individual record companies.

While the RIAA’s criteria for a single were simple (a million copies sold to retailers and jukebox operators period), it was more complicated for LPs. The million-dollar figure was arrived at by using one-third (33⅓%) of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.

The number of records sold had absolutely nothing to do with the original Gold Record Award for LP albums! The idea was to recognize a “million-dollar album,” as it was all about the dollars and cents. 1

These retail prices varied from as low as $2.95 to as high as $5.95 for a single LP album. Since 1955, most pop vocal and instrumental LPs (which included country & western, rhythm & blues, and rock & roll) were priced at $3.95 (or $3.98). Albums by artists in these fields had to sell more than 830,000 copies to reach the $1,000,000 wholesale level!

Released in January 1958, Perry Como’s first single of the new year was a double-sided hit: Catch A Falling Star peaked at #2 on the Cash Box Top 100 but only reached #9 on Billboard’s Top 100. The flip-side, Magic Moments, peaked at #21 on Cash Box and got to #27 on Billboard.
The first RIAA gold records

On March 14, 1958, the RIAA presented its first Gold Record Award to Perry Como for Catch A Falling Star (RCA Victor 47-7128, released in December 1957) in recognition of having sold a minimum of 1,000,000 copies in the US.

The new RIAA gold album

In 1975, the RIAA amended its requirements for Gold Record Awards for albums. They required two criteria to be met for certification:

1. The album must still sell $1,000,000 at the wholesale level, which was still defined as one-third of the manufacturer’s list price.

2. The album must also sell at least 500,000 units, meaning either LPs or pre-recorded tapes. (CDs were added later.)

The reasoning behind the first requirement is obvious: it maintained the original concept of the “million-dollar album.” The reasoning behind the second is not: 500,000 is an arbitrary figure. The RIAA could have chosen 750,000, which would have maintained a semblance of the original standards.

Or they could have chosen 400,000, which would have acknowledged the prices of albums in 1976 and recognized that those prices would continue to rise with time.

But they settled on 500,000, where it has remained since.

These new standards took effect in 1976.


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https://www.ratherrarerecords.com/about-riaa-gold/
Gold awards for albums

As stated above, initially the RIAA only counted dollar amounts for albums. The criteria were constant for seventeen years before being changed out of necessity. Other changes have occurred since then.
1958-1974

Gold Record Awards for albums

Albums had to sell $1,000,000 (one million dollars) at the manufacturer’s wholesale price to qualify. The wholesale price was a portion of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. As these varied from company to company, to simplify the process the RIAA set wholesale price as one-third (33⅓%) of the retail price.





QUOTE (klasaine @ Jan 8 2021, 03:03 PM) *
Def 500,000 established in 1958.
From the RIAA web site ...
https://www.riaa.com/gold-platinum/about-awards/

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This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Jan 9 2021, 11:14 PM
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klasaine
Jan 10 2021, 04:39 PM
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Good Research Todd.

I didn't know that the original designation, at least with LPs, was a dollar amount and not units.
Cool info!

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