RIAA Acknowledges Digital Streams for Artist Awards
May 13, 2013 7:17 AM
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This is the first time digital streams have been included
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has included
digitally streamed music
to its Gold & Platinum (G&P) Program for the first time.
The RIAA's G&P Program is an awards event created in 1958 to honor artists and their various achievements. Usually this is based on a sales format, but for the first time, the RIAA has recognized digital streaming music as well.
The digital music chosen in the awards came from on-demand services like MOG, Muve Music, Rdio, Rhapsody, Slacker, Spotify, Xbox Music, etc. as well as video streaming services like VEVO, Yahoo! Music, YouTube and MTV.com.
The RIAA is awarding 11 Gold, 18 Platinum and 27 multi-Platinum combined Digital Single Awards.
“Including music streaming in Gold & Platinum awards marks the continued evolution of the industry’s premier program for recognizing artistic achievement, and it reflects the wide spectrum of ways consumers enjoy music from their favorite bands,” said Cary Sherman, Chairman & CEO, RIAA. “The music business, along with its incredible array of digital service partners, is offering fans more access to music than ever before. We’re thrilled that our awards will now more fully recognize artists’ commercial success today.”
Some of the artists included in the awards are 30 Seconds to Mars, Adele, Aerosmith, Eminem, Lady Gaga, The Black Keys, Kanye West, Justin Bieber and Whitney Houston.
The RIAA is known for hunting down digital music sites and demanding huge fines, but those are typically sites where users exchange music files for free. One such case was the RIAA's attack on LimeWire in 2010, where the recording industry claimed copyright infringement in a federal court and managed to
shut down LimeWire
. In 2011, the RIAA
scored $105 million USD
from the broken music-exchange site.
The RIAA doesn't seem to have any beef with legitimate sites like Spotify or YouTube, which is why music from these sources was finally included in the awards. Digital streaming music is also exploding as mobile devices have become increasingly popular.
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How are audio streams weighted?
5/13/2013 9:32:32 AM
Each individual play shouldn't be treated as equivalent to a purchased mp3/cd/cassette/etc because all of the latter can be played numerous times; but that still leaves a wide range of plausible values to use. 30+ years ago you could swag the numbers based on tape and vinyl wearing out; but CDs and mp3s last indefinitely so even that's out.
Just looking at play counts on the computer I do most of my music listening on (~11k songs), I've got a median play count of 6; 15 plays at the 75% level, 35 at the ~90% level, and one album over the 100 plays mark. I'd expect people with larger collections to have much smaller averages and people with small ones to have much higher ones but with smaller variances for most played songs (most of the size difference being in the long tail; not favorites).
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