Perhaps the strangest recent rule change by the RIAA is the one where songs released ages ago still count towards album sales if they’re included on the LP, which may go some way to explaining why Drake tacked ‘Hotline Bling’ — released last July — onto the end of Views. “1,500 on-demand song streams in the United States [hold] the same value as 10 individual track sales or one full album sale,” according to Forbes. ‘Hotline Bling’ has so far been streamed over 400 million times on Spotify and 700 million times on YouTube. In the US, those 400 million streams equate to 267,000 album sales under the RIAA’s new rules. There was never any doubt that Drake’s weakest album to date would go platinum — and that was long before the other 19 tracks had even left the studio.
Interesting look at a new trend: longer albums with more tracks. Presumably, a lot of people plays these albums all the way through a few times when they are first released, so adding a few extra tracks can get a gold or platinum certification. Sneaky.
But does it really matter if an album is gold or platinum? To record labels, perhaps; to artists, certainly. But to listeners? I don’t think many people pay attention to that any more.