Read about the RIAA's Album Award requirements here.
RIAA AND GR&F CERTIFICATION AUDIT REQUIREMENTS
RIAA ALBUM AWARD
GOLD, PLATINUM AND MULTI-PLATINUM RIAA CERTIFICATIONS
Requests for audio and music video certification may be made by email or mail to the RIAA. The following information must be made available:
Configuration (single, shortform, album or music video)
Level (Gold, Platinum and/or Multi-Platinum)
Selection or Catalog Number
The RIAA certification program is open to member and non-member music companies. An audit consists of verifying requisite sales levels and then issuing a formal certification report.
RIAA certification entitles the authorized record company/music label to purchase official RIAA award plaques bearing the trademarked RIAA hologram seal from licensed plaque manufacturers.
All certification audits are conducted, for a fee, by the firm Gelfand, Rennert and Feldman, LLP (GR&F) for the RIAA. If multiple sales levels are simultaneously certified, only one audit certification fee is charged.
Sales of albums in physical product format become eligible for certification 30 days after the initial street date. Sales of albums in digital product format become eligible at the initial release date.
Initial pre-orders of digital albums will not be counted to towards certification. The pre-orders will only count towards certification after the album is released to the general public and the customer receives a copy of the digital album.
Only domestic sales and sales to U.S. military post exchanges may be included. The requesting company must separate PX sales from other accounts on sales sheets. Export sales outside the United States are not included in certification.
Club sales and club free goods may be included towards certification. Product shipped to retail, mail order, record clubs, TV marketing and other ancillary markets are combined toward certified sales. All shipments to these accounts must be verified by the label.
Promotional radio and press copies, cut-outs, inventory sell-offs and surplus sales are not included toward certification.
Catalog product, specifically pre-1972 album releases, are eligible for certification by meeting either the unit shipment or manufacturer's dollar requirement for each award level. The purpose of this rule is to make certain exceptions for older albums that have very little supporting documentation substantiating that they meet both the unit requirement and the dollar requirement. Without the rule, these titles would potentially be unable to meet the dollar requirement based on the limited documentation available from sales that occurred decades ago.
Certification Audit Requirements:
1. The copy of actual product (compact disc preferred).
2. Label Copy for all configurations.
3. Retail prices for all configurations (computer printout or catalog). Not required for video.
4. Product release date.
5. Internal sales summary report reflecting only domestic commercial sales (total invoiced) and sales to U.S. military post exchanges. The report must not include export sales or any promotional or free distributions.
6. In certain instances, we may request additional documentation including internal sales detail reports, sales invoices, royalty statements rendered to artists, manufacturing records and royalty statements rendered by the Digital Service Providers.
7. Club sales reports, if applicable (BMG Direct, Columbia House, other).