The Gold & Platinum Program utilizes a third-party auditing firm review of all certification applications to ensure the highest level of accuracy and confirm each award has qualified based on mandatory requirements. These include requisite sales and streaming figures, consumer demand, and much more.
Applicants must submit specific sales and streaming figures at each level threshold, along with other criteria, to qualify for certification. The list and table below describe what titles and types of data is eligible.
United States distribution requirements:
Submitters are required to validate titles redeemed through product sales/on-demand streams and counted towards certification have actually been distributed or downloaded within the United States. Only domestic sales and sales to United States military post exchanges can be included.
Sales become eligible for certification:
- 30 days after the release date (for physical product albums/tracks) OR at the release date (for albums/tracks in digital format).
- At the release date (for albums/songs in digital product format).
Other sale requirements include:
- Export sales outside of the United States are not included in certification.
- The requesting entity must separate PX sales from other accounts on sales sheets.
Pre-orders are not counted towards certification until after the album is released and the user receives a copy of the digital album.
Bundles and product packaging:
Albums bundled with other products (e.g., concert tickets, merchandise, etc.) and sold to consumers may be eligible if they meet the following requirements:
- Sold at a minimum $6 premium per album when compared to the standalone product’s price.
- Products bundled with two albums must be sold at a $12 premium, three must be sold at a $18 premium, etc. This satisfies the existing dollar volume required of album certifications.
- Accompanying products must be available for purchase separately.
- Catalog product, specifically pre-1972 album releases, may be 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 facilitate evaluation of older albums for which there exists very little supporting documentation substantiating that they meet both the unit requirement and the dollar requirement.
- Club sales and free goods may be included towards certification. Product shipped to retail, mail order, record clubs, TV marketing, and other ancillary markets is 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.