Album Sales: Rihanna + The RIAA Now Includes Streaming

It’s a weird time in terms of album sales.

Rihanna sold a million copies of her new album Anti through a partnership with Samsung. Samsung supposedly paid $25 million to give out the album for free (Kinda like what her mentor Jay Z did with his album Holy Grail Magna Carta in 2013). But here’s the thing: Billboard, the people that make the charts for album sales, won’t recognize that shit. While RIAA (the people that pass out the Gold, Platinum, & Diamond plaques) is saying that Rih-Rih is certified platinum, Billboard says that Anti landed at the #27 spot and sold around 15,800 copies.

If I was Rihanna, I wouldn’t give a damn. It might sound weird coming from a guy who use to write about album sales every week, but if I got the money for those album I wouldn’t give a shit. Plus you still get to take that picture with a Platinum plaque; a thing that every music artists want to do.

Like I said already the RIAA does in fact respect the streaming. They already include streams but today they announced that 1,500 on-demand video or audio streams will be counted as equivalent to one physical album sale and 100 to 150 streams will count as the equivalent of a single track download. What does this mean? 17 new albums are newly certified Platinum & Gold. And here’s they are:

Alt-J – An Awesome Wave (Gold)
Big Sean – Dark Sky Paradise (Platinum)
Brett Eldredge -Bring You Back (Gold)
Coldplay – Ghost Stories (Platinum)
Elle King – Love Stuff (Gold)
Fifth Harmony – Reflection (Gold)
Halsey – Badlands (Gold)
Hozier – Hozier (Platinum)
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly (Platinum)
Michael Jackson – Thriller (32X Multi-Platinum)
Miranda Lambert – Platinum (Platinum)
Romeo Santos – Fórmula Vol. 2 (11X Diamante/RIAA Latin G&P Program)
Sam Hunt – Montevallo (2X Multi-Platinum)
Shawn Mendes – Handwritten (Platinum)
The Weeknd – Beauty Behind the Madness (2X Multi-Platinum)
Vance Joy – Dream Your Life Away (Gold)
Wale – Ambition (Gold)

The names that pop out here (To me at least; what the fuck is a Fifth Harmony?) are Big Sean getting his first Platinum plaque with Dark Sky Paradise, Wale getting another Gold plaque with Ambition, The Weeknd going double Platinum with Beauty Behind the Madness, and Michael Jackson getting yet another Platinum plaques for Thriller.

This could be a good or bad thing right? Some would argue that plaques don’t mean as much as they use to and now the RIAA will start passing them out like crazy. Others would question who the hell buys albums these days with streaming sites like Spotify, Tidal, or Apple Music being so popular. Only time will tell but times are changing in the world of music sales.

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