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Certification Criteria

Gold & Platinum Awards are earned by artists who have met rigorous standards, and recipients join the ranks of the most iconic recording artists.

We take certification very seriously. Our third party auditing firm has reviewed all applications for more than 40 years to ensure that each award recipient has qualified based on mandatory requirements like requisite sales and streaming figures, consumer demand and much more.

Audit Requirements:



Requesting certification:

Along with minimum sales and streaming figures, a number of other criteria accompany each title considered for certification. The list and table below describe what titles and types of sales and streams can be considered for the awards.

United States distribution:

Record labels are required to validate that 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 may be included.

Sales become eligible for certification:

  • 30 days after the release date (for albums/songs in physical product format) OR
  • 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 label must separate PX sales from other accounts on sales sheets.


Initial pre-orders of digital albums are not counted towards certification. Pre-orders only count towards certification after the album is released, and the user receives a copy of the digital album.

Merch bundles, Ticket Bundles, and product packaging:

Labels are required to identify all bundled sales when submitting for certification.  Albums bundled (“Added Value”) with other products (e.g. concert tickets, merchandise, etc.) (“Standalone Product”) and sold to consumers can be eligible under RIAA’s Gold & Platinum Program if they meet the following requirements:

  • For certification purposes only, the Added Value of the bundle has a suggested retail value premium of $6 or more per album when compared to the retail value of the Standalone Product.  For example, the Added Value of a bundle with 2 albums should have a suggested retail value premium of $12 when compared to the retail value of the Standalone Product.
  • The Standalone Product included in a bundle must be available for purchase separately where the consumer is given the choice of purchasing each component of the bundle individually.  The Added Value component of a bundle cannot be marketed as a free giveaway.
  • When the consumer is given the choice to redeem the album as a digital download or physical copy, only transactions proving the redemption of the album will be eligible to count toward certification.
  • Redemption reports must identify the consumer’s country where the album was redeemed.
  • Multi-disc sets are generally not considered bundles unless they are packaged with Standalone Products that would otherwise classify the music components as Added Value.  For the avoidance of doubt, the RIAA reserves the right to approve or deny the eligibility of bundles or multi-disc sets at its sole and absolute discretion.  If there is a question as to the eligibility of a product, please reach out to the RIAA prior to submitting a request for certification.