RIAA Certifications: Streaming included on Albums awards

Don't Stop Believin!

3. “Adding song downloads is nonsense”

Wrong.  This conclusion is one more perspective mistake. Looking at it on our current point, some may consider it strange. This being said, two massive points are often ignored.

First point, singles are no more singles. This is a key. While in the past a single had a proper meaning, e.g. a song sent on radio and released on a dedicated media. In digital world, all album cuts are virtually singles. The logic changed, as people listen to playlists, they download one, two, three songs from the same album without ever caring about what the album was. Consumers still using the likes iTunes are a very specific group of users and they all basically download the same sets of songs. When Katy Perry manages 5 songs selling over 2 million downloads in the US, those are roughly the same 2 million persons. Considering them as having bough 0,5 copy of the album makes then perfect sense since they really did so. Similarly, when one notices all album tracks of successful albums often sell 500,000 copies or so, it should be regarded as more or less the same 500,000 persons who bought most of the album. Singles are no more singles, they are a part of the album.

Second point, single sales are dying. Getting too much offset because of those sales getting included into an album certification is really fighting against a ghost. A few years ago big hits were all selling 6 million, by now they are selling 4 million, in two years they will be selling 2 million. Their impact on album certifications will be more and more irrelevant, even more compared to album sales added to streaming.

4. “Listening many times one song isn’t the same as buying the album”

Wrong. Yes, wrong. People stream complete albums, others some songs, others only one. Guess what? It was exactly the same on physicals era, even worst. In fact, some people were listening to the full album, some were skipping more and more tracks after each weeks, some were listening to only one… and many were listening to no song at all. Very few people are aware that over 40% of album sales are gifts for other people. How many Rod Stewart songbooks never moved from their package after being offered to your grandma? Yeah, tons of them.

2 thoughts on “RIAA Certifications: Streaming included on Albums awards”

  1. Hi MJD, What about GHs albums? How do they know which GH to credit the streams to when an artist has more than 2 compilation albums?

    1. Hello Jeff!
      Very good point you end up raising – I added section 3 on page 2 to answer it. To summarize, when a song appear on several albums of an artist, it is up to the label to decide on which package its results must be attributed. If they will tend to elect the largest selling compilation or the newest one has yet to be seen!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *