The RIAA Adds “Digital Streams” To Gold & Platinum Awards

blame it on Meka May 10, 2013

Or, “so now when your favorite struggle rapper somehow garners 500,000 YouTube/VEVO views they will receive a gold plaque.”

The RIAA announced “the integration of streams to its historic Gold & Platinum (G&P) Program, the industry’s premier award for recognizing artistic achievement in the marketplace.” What, exactly, does that mean? Well, if an artist’s song (and/or video) gets streamed from the likes of Rdio, Rhapsody, Spotify, Xbox Music,, VEVO, Yahoo! Music, YouTube and others enough times, that song and/or video now qualifies for gold and platinum certification.

After announcing this, the RIAA then started passing out these awards like they were those dry communion discs at a church, giving everyone from Adele to Kanye West to Kendrick Lamar to Whitney Houston gold and platinum digital song certifications.

If this walks like a duck and talks like a duck, then you’re probably right to assume this is another slab of musical fuckery thrown on the grill.

Look, I get what the RIAA is trying to do with this integration of digital streams, as they’re trying to keep up with the ever-changing pace of the music world. However, handing out a gold plaque to anybody with 500,000 views or streams is kind of a moot point when an artist can “go gold” and no longer need a half a million people to actually do so. For example, I watched Pusha T’s video for “Numbers On The Boards” twice yesterday; does that mean that I accounted for “two” streams or just one? As such, what does this mean for other artists who have the same amount of views and streams, but aren’t on the same level of “prestige” as their more popular contemporaries? For example, Pac Div – according to this new integration – would have “gone gold” for “Mayor” (which, as of this post, has 708,218 views) and “hit platinum” for “Anti-Freeze” (1,267,265 views). And I haven’t even begun to touch upon the other “potentially gold-streaming singles” such as, say, Nelly’s BET UnCut staple “Tip Drill” (which, according to one link, has hit 652,459 views).

To me, there’s so many loopholes and unclear jibba-jabba that I don’t see how this “new integration” is ultimately beneficial. Sure, it’s cool to see your favorite artist get some acknowledgement for their work, but what happens if a song like “The South Gon’ Hold It Down” “goes platinum” as well? I feel that this new “rule” definitely needs more work and clarity before actually being implemented. But what do I know, I’m just a bootlegging pirate let the RIAA tell you.