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Sign of the times: RIAA now includes streaming music in digital gold, platinum awards

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spotify radio (stock)
spotify radio (stock)

In yet another sign of a shifting music business landscape, the Recording Industry Association of America today announced that it's now including streamed songs in its Gold & Platinum Program. Both audio and video song streams will now go towards the 500,000 (gold), 1,000,000 (platinum) and multi-platinum thresholds that must be met for an artist to earn a Digital Single Award certification. With the change, the RIAA says that 56 songs have immediately earned awards, including some old hits like Aerosmith's "I Don't Want To Miss a Thing" (platinum) and Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" (two-times platinum)— it's the first digital certification for both artists.

Audio apps being factored into the RIAA's tally include Spotify, Rdio, MOG, Rhapsody, Xbox Music, Muve, and others. On the video side, YouTube, Vevo,, Yahoo Music, and other sites are counted. The formula being used here is also interesting: in the RIAA's eyes, 100 streams are equivalent to a single paid download. It made that determination after a year-long effort that involved numerous industry groups and artists. The association says its calculation is a "barometer of comparative consumer activity" and notes that the "financial value of streams and downloads were not factored into the equation." We've included the full list of artists and songs that just earned a digital award below, and more details await you at the RIAA's website.

30 Seconds To Mars/"This Is War," Adele/"Rolling in the Deep, "Aerosmith/"I Don't Want To Miss A Thing," Andy Grammer/"Keep Your Head Up," Anna Kendrick/"Cups," Avril Lavigne/"Smile," Ca$h Out/"Cashin' Out," Carly Rae Jepsen/"Call Me Maybe," Carrie Underwood/"Before He Cheats," Cher Lloyd/"Oath," Don Omar/"Danza Kuduro," Drake/"Started from The Bottom," Emeli Sandé/"Next To Me," Eminem/"Love The Way You Lie," Frank Ocean/"Thinkin Bout You," Gym Class Heroes feat. Ryan Tedder/"The Fighter," Imagine Dragons/"Radioactive," J. Cole/"Workout," Jake Owen/"Alone With You" and "Barefoot Blue Jean Night," Jason Derulo/"Watcha Say" and "Ridin' Solo," Josh Turner/"Why Don't We Just Dance," Journey/"Don't Stop Believin,'" Juanes/"La Camisa Negra," Justin Bieber/"Baby," Justin Timberlake/"Suit & Tie," Kansas/"Dust In The Wind," Kanye West/"Stronger," Kelly Clarkson/"Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)," Kelly Rowland/"Motivation," Kendrick Lamar/"Poetic Justice," Kenny Chesney/"The Boys Of Fall," Lady Gaga/"Bad Romance," Lana Del Rey/"Video Games," LMFAO/"Sexy And I Know It," M83/"Midnight City," Michael Jackson/"Billie Jean," Of Monsters And Men/"Little Talks," Olly Murs/"Troublemaker," One Direction/"Little Things," P!nk feat. Nate Ruess/"Just Give Me A Reason," Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera/"Feel This Moment," Rihanna/"We Found Love," Robin Thicke/"Lost Without U," Selena Gomez & The Scene/"Love You Like A Love Song," The Black Keys/"Lonely Boy," The Fray/ "Over My Head (Cable Car)," The Script/"The Man Who Can't Be Moved," The Weeknd/"Wicked Games," Toby Keith/"Beers Ago," Train/"Drive By," Usher/"Scream," Whitney Houston/"I Will Always Love You,""Scream & Shout" and Wisin & Yandel/"Follow The Leader."