"Combined" Single Award

Read about the RIAA's new "Combined" Digital Single Award requirements and details here.


                           RIAA AND GR&F CERTIFICATION AUDIT REQUIREMENTS
                                   RIAA “COMBINED” DIGITAL SINGLE AWARD
                       GOLD, PLATINUM AND MULTI-PLATINUM RIAA CERTIFICATIONS

General Requirements:

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. 

Gold – 500,000 Units (For example, this means a Gold certification can now be earned by selling 500,000 permanent downloads, or some lesser number of permanent downloads plus achieving a certain number of on-demand streams, over the lifetime of a song)
Platinum – 1,000,000 Units
Multi-Platinum – 2,000,000 Units (increments of 1,000,000 thereafter)

Maintaining the digital single award program consistent with that of the existing Gold and Platinum Program, all requests for certification must come directly from the record label/company to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

The record company is responsible for providing track information including artist, title, music label, running time and release date directly to RIAA. Sales information must be provided to the firm Gelfand, Rennert and Feldman, LLP (GR&F) for verification.

Digital downloads are defined as tracks derived from a single sound recording and distributed directly or licensed from a record label for distribution from a legitimate online service that provides financial compensation to the record labels (Digital Service Providers or “DSP’s”). The price on which the download is based must reflect current market rate compensation to the record label, thus promotional track downloads of a free single do not count towards certification.

On-demand streams from DSP’s that are reported to the record labels, whether paid by the consumer by subscription or are free to the consumer through ad-supported services will be accepted for certification.

All certifications are based on permanent downloads and on-demand streams distributed within the United States.

Multiple versions of digital tracks can be combined for the purposes of certification under the following guidelines:
•    tracks defined as ‘radio mix’ or ‘album version’
•    edited and explicit versions
•    remixes, provided they are not more than 90 seconds longer than the original version

‘Live’ recordings of a digital track may not be combined with other versions for the purpose of certification but may be certified separately.

Only official label/company videos count towards certification, User Generated Videos do not.

Certification count begins at the track’s release date.

Certification Audit Requirements:

1.    CD or digital copy of each track, especially if multiple versions are being combined for certification purposes. Each track’s ISRC code should be included as well. 

2.    Label copy for all tracks.

3.    Track release date.

4.    Internal sales summary report segregated by DSP, reflecting only domestic commercial permanent downloads and on-demand streams. All foreign distributions and on-demand streams should be excluded or segregated from the sales summary report. Additionally, tracks sold that are included in a permanent digital full album sale do not count towards digital single sales.

5.    In certain instances, we may request additional documentation including detailed sales reports and royalty statements rendered by the DSP’s.