Certification Criteria

Certification Criteria

  • Along with minimum sales figures, a number of other criteria accompany each title for certification. The list and table below describe what titles and types of sales can be considered for the awards.
  • Each company that requests RIAA® certification must be a firm or corporation that has headquarters in the United States and is engaged in the legitimate production and sale of sound recordings.
  • 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.

RIAA® Gold and Platinum Certification Requirements

Configuration

Gold® Certification

Platinum® Certification

Multi-Platinum™ Certification

Digital Single

Quantity:
500,000 units. All versions count once toward certification.

Quantity:
One million units. All versions count once toward certification.

Quantity:
Two million units. All versions count once toward certification.

Requirements:
*Must contain no more than four different songs.

*Only one song is eligible.

* Units are defined as follows:

•    Each permanent digital download counts as 1 Unit for certification purposes. 
•    100 on-demand audio and/or video streams will count as 1 Unit for certification purposes. 

Requirements:
*Must contain no more than four songs.

*Only one song is eligible.

Requirements:
*Must contain no more than four different songs.

*Only one song is eligible.

*Recertified at each million unit sales level.

Shortform Album/EP

Quantity:
500,000 units

Quantity:
One million units

Quantity:
Two million units

Requirements:
*Must include at least three but no more than five different songs.

*Average minimum running time is 30 minutes.

Requirements:
*Must include at least three but no more than five different songs.

*Average minimum running time is 30 minutes.

Requirements:
*Must include at least three but no more than five different songs.

*Average minimum running time is 30 minutes.

*Recertified at each million unit sales level.

Full-Length Album

Quantity:
500,000 units.
Manufacturer's dollar volume at least $1 million based on 33 1/3% of sugg. list price

Quantity:
One million units. Manufacturer's dollar volume at least $2 million based on 33 1/3% of sugg. list price

Quantity:
Two million units. Manufacturer's dollar volume at least $4 million based on 33 1/3% of the sugg. list price

Requirements:
* May combine sale of all configurations.

*Enhanced CDs must contain at least 75% of audio content of regular CD.

Requirements:
*May combine sale of all configurations.

*Enhanced CDs must contain at least 75% of audio content of regular CD.

Requirements:
*May combine sale of all configurations.

*Enhanced CDs must contain at least 75% of audio content of regular CD.

*Recertified at each million unit sales level.

Multi-Disc Set

Quantity:
500,000 units. Package must include two or more Cds (or its tape and album equivalent.)

Quantity:
One million units. Package must include two or more CDs ( or its tape and album equivalent.)

Quantity:
Two million units. Package must include two or more Cds (or its tape and album equivalent.)

Requirements:
*Each unit within set counts as one unit toward certification.

*Minimum running time 100 minutes.

Requirements:
*Each unit within set counts as one unit toward certification.

*Minimum running time 100 minutes.

Requirements:
*Each unit within set counts as one unit toward certification.

*Minimum running time of 100 minutes.

*Recertified at each million unit sales level.

Music Video Single

Quantity:
25,000 units

Quantity:
50,000 units

Quantity:
100,000 units

Requirements:
*Must contain no more than two songs per video.

*Maximum running time 15 minutes.

Requirements:
*Must contain no more than two songs per video.

*Maximum running time 15 minutes.

Requirements:
*Must contain no more than two songs per video.

*Maximum running time 15 minutes.

*Recertified at each 50,000 unit sales level.

Music Video Longform

Quantity:
50,000 units

Quantity:
100,000 units

Quantity:
200,000 units

Requirements:
*Defined as a title that has not been theatrically released prior to distribution.

Requirements:
*Defined as a title that has not been theatrically released prior to distribution.

Requirements:
*Defined as a title that has not been theatrically released prior to distribution.

*Recertified at 100,000 unit sales level.

Multi-Box Music Video Set

Quantity:
50,000 units. Package must include three or more video marketed as a set.

Quantity:
100,000 units. Package must include three or more video titles marketed as a set.

Quantity:
200,000 units. Package must include three or more video titles marketed as a set.

Requirements:
*Each individual video within set is counted as one toward certification.

Requirements:
*Each individual video within set is counted as one unit toward certification.

Requirements:
*Each individual video within set is counted as one unit toward certification.

*Recertified at each 100,000 unit sales level.