Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly Is Now Platinum As RIAA Adds Streams To Criteria

Two of 2015’s most talked about Hip-Hop albums can now claim platinum status. Just weeks before the Grammy Awards, Kendrick Lamar’s sophomore major label album To Pimp A Butterfly now has the same celebrated benchmark of its 2012 predecessor, good kid, m.A.A.d city. Additionally, Big Sean achieves his first platinum solo album plaque, thanks to Dark Sky Paradise.

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Beginning today (February 1), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) launches its new “methodology” for determining gold and platinum artists. The organization associated with awarding the famed music benchmarks is now integrating on-demand streams into its certifications.

Here is the formula (and justification), according to a press release:

After a comprehensive analysis of a variety of factors – including streaming and download consumption patterns and historical impact on the program – and also consultation with a myriad of industry colleagues, the RIAA set the new Album Award formula of 1,500 on-demand audio and/or video song streams = 10 track sales = 1 album sale.  Also effective today, RIAA’s Digital Single Award ratio will be updated from 100 on-demand streams = 1 download to 150 on-demand streams = 1 download to reflect streaming’s enormous growth in the two plus years since that ratio was set.

“[Since 1958], whether it’s vinyl, CDs, downloads or now streams, the Gold & Platinum Program has adapted to recognize the benchmarks of success in an evolving music marketplace,” said Cary Sherman, Chairman and CEO, RIAA in a press statement. “We know that music listening – for both for albums and songs – is skyrocketing, yet that trend has not been reflected in our album certifications.  Modernizing our Album Award to include music streaming is the next logical step in the continued evolution of Gold & Platinum Awards, and doing so enables RIAA to fully reward the success of artists’ albums today.”

That being said, more of the 2010s artists may have some of the commercial accolades of their 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s peers. In other words, your favorite albums now have a much better shot at reaching gold, platinum, and multi-platinum status.

As a note, Wale’s 2011 album Ambition was also awarded gold status. This marks the first such album award for the then-Maybach Music Group/Warner Bros. Records artist.

Related: A New Report Details The Number of Platinum Hip-Hop Albums By City