Awards rules more exciting now with music streaming in the mix
Music streaming is a fast-growing tech innovation, so much that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), changed its 58-year old Gold & Platinum Program—an Album Award methodology recognizing industry’s commercial success in sound recording.
In a press release, RIAA stated that the certified Gold or Platinum status of an album will now be determined by actual record sales and the numbers either on video or audio streaming sites or apps. In 2013, the RIAA made similar amendments to its rules when it included on-demand streams as part of its Digital Single Award.
RIAA Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman acknowledged the logical need to modernize their Album Award methods in the evolution of the music industry.
“We know that music listening—for both for albums and songs—is skyrocketing, yet that trend has not been reflected in our album certifications. Modernizing our Album Award to include music streaming is the next logical step in the continued evolution of Gold & Platinum Awards, and doing so enables RIAA to fully reward the success of artists’ albums today,” Sherman stated in the press release.
In a careful analysis of various factors, RIAA came up with the formula, wherein 1,500 audio and video on-demand streams are equal to 10 track sales or 1 album sale. The benchmarks—500,000 sales for Gold and 1,000,000 for Platinum— remain the same. On the other hand, 150 streams will now be needed to equal one download, for the Digital Single Award. The update is meant to take into account the huge developments and growth of music streaming in the past two years.
The booming music streaming industry has created a successful turn in the last few years, when it surpassed CD sales in 2014. RIAA’s mid-2015 report shows that the emerging industry that is here to stay, with music streaming services making up 33 percent of total industry revenues or $1.03 billion. The growth is huge, compared with 26 percent or $834 million of revenues in same time period in 2014. Furthermore, one-third of Americans use the billion dollar music industry, eventually increasing the demand for music streaming platforms.
Top music streaming platform, Spotify, aims to remain number one with its acquisition of Irish Startup Soundwave. Mogul author Angelique Moss says the success of Spotify is evident with the company’s fast expansion, leaving the growing competition, like Tidal, Rdio and even Pandora, trailing. In turn, this expansion and the still-growing number of companies joining the competitive fray is a reflection of the music streaming industry’s domination.
Similarly, as Moss mentioned, other industries can look to the music streaming sector to see a niche, that is unknown nine years ago, change the face of an industry. Other startups, are, indeed, doing the same for their own trade. For mobile technology, 5BARz International is solving the problem of weak mobile signals, changing the way telcoms build their networks. Other niche startups emerging to lead include Curalate and Droneshield.
The music industry has always moved and seamlessly integrated with technology’s growth—vinyls, cassette tapes, CDs, digital tracks and now, streaming services. The quick and huge expansion of music streaming services has prompted award giving bodies to adapt and implemented new rules to cater to the platform migration of music listeners.