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RIAA expands gold and platinum record awards to streamed music

The RIAA has announced that it will now calculate music streamed from on-demand services into its Gold & Platinum awards program.

In another sign that music listening is expanding beyond the limits of CDs and digital purchases, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced on Thursday that it would recognize music and music videos streamed from on-demand services as part of its Gold & Platinum award program. These services include Mog, Muve Music, Rdio, Rhapsody, Slacker, Spotify, and Xbox Music, as well as video streaming services such as MTV.com, Vevo, Yahoo Music, and YouTube. This is the first time that the program has recognized tracks in a non-sales format.

In calculating the awards, streams are not given the same weight as digital downloads. The RIAA consulted with the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM), a variety of music services, and artist managers and came up with a formula that considers 100 streams as equal to a single download. The group reports that the financial value of streams and downloads were not a factor in the equation.

To bring attention to the change in the program, the RIAA has bestowed 56 titles G&P Digital Single Award certification--11 Gold, 18 Platinum, and 27 multi-Platinum. Earning the prize are such singles as Adele's "Rolling in the Deep," Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe," Kanye West's "Stronger," Train's "Drive By," and Journey's "Don't Stop Believin.'"

Because of the program, 11 artists are receiving their first digital song certification. They include 30 Seconds To Mars, Aerosmith, Andy Grammer, Anna Kendrick, Emeli Sandé, Juanes, Lana Del Rey, Robin Thicke, The Weeknd, Whitney Houston, and Wisin & Yandel.

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