As avid G&P followers appreciate, we’ve focused diligently in the last year on modernizing the program so that it properly reflects a dramatically shifting music marketplace. We now count on-demand streams as part of our Digital Single Award. We’ve aligned our digital single and album rules to enable timely certification requests and waive the 30-day wait rule.
This same philosophy of modernization also applies to the Latin marketplace, where we’ve recently spent some time reflecting on the market and what changes make sense for our program. For starters, we are creating RIAA’s first-ever Latin Digital Single Award. Like the standard Digital Single Award, the certification will include on-demand music streams at the formula of 100 streams being equivalent to one download sale.
On-demand streams on digital music services that are authorized by and reported to the record labels, whether paid for by the consumer through a subscription or free to the consumer through ad-supported services, are accepted for RIAA song certifications. This includes streams from digital services like Muve Music, Rdio, Rhapsody, Slacker, Spotify, Xbox Music and others, plus video streaming services like MTV.com, VEVO, Yahoo! Music, YouTube and many more.
Effective immediately, the new thresholds for Latin digital single and Latin album certifications are Oro - 30,000 units, Platino - 60,000 units, and multi-Platino - 120,000 units (in increments of 60,000 units thereafter). This marks a new Latin album threshold (previously Oro was 50,000 and Platino was 100,000), reflecting developments in the marketplace.
In 2001 the RIAA introduced the Premios de Oro y Platino Award to celebrate Latin music sales, specifically titles that contain more than 50 percent Spanish language. Since launch more than 700 titles have been certified Oro and more than 600 Platino.
All certifications are calculated by the firm Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman, which has audited title sales for the RIAA for more than 30 years. Complete lists of all awards can also be accessed at riaa.com, while new award news, artist photos, historical data and more can be found at facebook.com/GoldandPlatinum.
A very cool thing about my job is getting to work with great music charities and the passionate people involved in them. One of those charities is Musicians On Call (MOC). I had the good fortune to meet its Executive Director, Dr. Leslie Faerstein, several years ago, and with her encouragement and through her passion, I saw live and up close how MOC brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities. If you have never experienced one of these programs, you should. The power of music to cheer up a patient who can’t get out of bed is something to behold. I was honored when MOC asked me to sit on its Board of Directors.
Today, Dr. Leslie Faerstein announced her decision to retire after 13 plus years as Executive Director. Leslie helped Musicians on Call bring its magic to over 400,000 patients nationwide in six major cities, starting with the vision of its music industry founders and her determined execution of that vision. Having worked in hospitals, she helped bridge the needs of healthcare facilities with a service only professional musicians could provide. Since MOC’s founding in 1999, recording artists and musicians have embraced this cause, playing for patients and lending their voice to draw awareness to the healing power of music. While MOC will get the benefit of Leslie’s expertise as Executive Director Emeritus, we wanted to take a moment to recognize all that she has done to make people feel better. And at the end of the day, what better accomplishment is there than that? Thank you Leslie. The music community and patients around the country owe you a debt of gratitude. Because of you and the work of many volunteer musicians and others, MOC has a bright future as it continues to grow at an unprecedented level to serve more patients in more cities than ever before. We will miss you.