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An artist’s Gold or Platinum award represents sales and on-demand streams made through digital and physical retailers that legitimately distribute recorded music.

Once a title’s sales and on-demand streams has been audited and verified as having reached requisite levels, a formal certification report is issued and sent to the title’s music label.

To apply, please provide the following information and attach the necessary supplemental documents in an email.

Audit Requirements:

RIAA AND GR&F CERTIFICATION AUDIT REQUIREMENTS – RIAA ALBUM AWARD

RIAA AND GR&F CERTIFICATION AUDIT REQUIREMENTS – RIAA DIGITAL SINGLE AWARD

Background:

  • Record Company:
  • Label:
  • Artist:
  • Title:
  • Configuration (single, shortform, album or music video):
  • Each requested level (Gold, Platinum and/or levels of Multi-Platinum):
  • Selection or Catalog Number:
  • Release Date:
  • Suggested Retail List Price (SRLP) (Albums):
  • Genre (please select a maximum of two):
    • Alternative
    • Blues
    • Children
    • Christian/Gospel
    • Classical
    • Classics
    • Comedy
    • Country
    • Dance/Electronic
    • Americana/Folk
    • Holiday/Season
    • Jazz
    • Latin
    • New Age
    • Pop
    • R&B/Hip Hop
    • Reggae
    • Rock
    • Soundtracks
    • World Music
    • Other
    • Unassigned

Billing Information:

RIAA member companies are charged $350 per certification. Non-members are charged $450 per each level of certification (must be prepaid).

  • Company Name:
  • Billing Contact:
  • Billing Contact Email Address:
  • Billing Physical Address:
  • Phone Number:
  • PO NUMBER (if required by your company):

Supporting documents:

Sales Report:

Choose one option, but the submitted report must show domestic shipments only and the net of returns):

  • Provide a copy directly from your sales system
  • Provide a screenshot of Excel data
  • Label Copy of Product (or “one-sheet”) containing product and packaging info.

Product Copy:

Companies must submit one copy of the audio or music video product upon certification request. All versions of the title’s catalog must be represented. In your application, include:

  • Digi-files of tracks to be uploaded with your application
  • Copy of the physical product (to be mailed to our team)

Mail the first copy to:

If you’re on the East Coast, mail the second copy to:

If you’re on the West Coast, mail the second copy to:

  • Gelfand Rennert & Feldman, LLP
    Attn: Paul Fischer
    1880 Century Park East #1600
    Los Angeles, CA 90067
    pfischer@grfllp.com

Submit Application:

If you’re on the East Coast, email the above information and supporting documents to the following people:

If you’re on the West Coast, email the above information and supporting documents to the following people:

 

If you want to purchase a plaque or learn more about the certification process, please see our FAQ section.

FAQ

Any artist, label or other affiliated party who contributed to an RIAA certified title (riaa.com/gold-platinum/) and would like to obtain a physical plaque, can do so. Our licensed framers have exclusive rights to prepare our official awards, which bear a specialized RIAA hologram, and they can work on your behalf to help obtain the record label authorization required for a plaque to be made for you. This authorization must come from the certified title’s music label, which must first authorize plaque orders before they can be manufactured. Once an order has been approved, the licensed framer can work with you to determine the design and quantity of awards.

Please reach out to any of the following licensed RIAA award manufacturers to learn more:

Please note that RIAA is unable to authenticate any existing physical plaque/award, but you can always verify whether or not a title is certified using our database. Award recipients are always free to purchase authorized plaques from RIAA-approved and licensed framing companies. RIAA does not limit the amount of plaques a music label or artist can create, nor do we provide information on the number of plaques produced (if any) for a particular project.

Counterfeit Awards

We regularly work with our member companies and outside agencies to ensure that counterfeits are not readily available on the market. Working together with Sotheby’s and other auction houses and in coordination with its anti-piracy division, RIAA has been able to identify and remove unauthorized awards from auction. If you believe you have located a fraudulent award (a plaque that claims U.S. sales certification, but does not include the RIAA hologram logo), please report it here.

The RIAA certification program is open to member and non-member companies. RIAA certification entitles the authorized record label to purchase official RIAA award plaques bearing the trademarked RIAA hologram seal from licensed plaque manufacturers.

The audit calculates what product has been shipped for sale and/or sold or streamed online, net after returns for the life of the release. When certifying audio and music video releases, the independent auditor is careful to survey the entire music marketplace.

To complete the certification process, we require a few supporting documents:

  • Sales Report (choose one)
    • Copy directly from your sales system, showing only domestic returns and net of returns
    • Screenshot of Excel data,showing only domestic returns and net of returns
  • Label Copy of Product (or “one-sheet”)
  • Product copy (choose one):
    • Copy of the physical product
    • Digi-files of tracks to be uploaded with your application

For accuracy’s sake, we require that you send us sales figures directly from your databases.

We have been asked why we don’t use sales figures from SoundScan. SoundScan measures over-the-counter sales at music retail locations, while our certification levels are based on unit shipments and digital sales/streams (minus returns) from record labels and manufacturers to a wide range of accounts, including non-retail record clubs, mail order houses, specialty stores, units shipped for Internet fulfillment or direct marketing sales, such as TV-advertised albums. In addition, SoundScan’s archive begins in 1991, while the RIAA has tracked artists’ sales levels for nearly 60 years.

New in 2015, you may apply for a maximum of two categories from the following:

  • Alternative
  • Blues
  • Children
  • Christian/Gospel
  • Classical
  • Classics
  • Comedy
  • Country
  • Dance/Electronic
  • Folk
  • Holiday/Season
  • Jazz
  • Latin
  • New Age
  • Pop
  • R&B/Hip Hop
  • Reggae
  • Rock
  • Soundtracks
  • World Music
  • Other
  • Unassigned

To cover the time and expense incurred by our certification and audit teams, we require the following fees:

  • RIAA member companies: $350 per certification
  • Non-members: $450 per level of certification (must be prepaid)

Please also note:

  • Any requests that do not meet the Gold & Platinum Program requirements will still be charged the full audit certification fee.
  • If multiple sales levels are certified simultaneously, the audit certification fee is only charged once per title to RIAA member companies. Non-member pay per level of certification requested.
  • If your company is requesting your first certification audit, we require that you also cover any travel expenses by our independent auditor.
  • A 30-day time limit is set for pending certifications. If a full audit cannot be completed within this time, $100 will be rendered to member companies and $200 to non-member companies.

Once our Gold & Platinum Program team has approved your request for certification, we’ll approve your application for independent auditing. The accounting firm Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman performs all our audits, and has audited titles for RIAA for more than 35 years.