What is Gold Platinum Certification?
Music Canada’s Gold Platinum Awards Program was launched in 1975 to celebrate milestone sales of music in Canada. With over 17,000 albums, singles, digital downloads, ringtones, and music videos certified over the past 43 years, the program provides a unique historical timeline of popular music in Canada.
Over the years, the certification sales criteria for Gold and Platinum records have reacted to market conditions, and are indicative of overall trends in the music industry. For example, in 2008, Music Canada added the Digital Downloads category at 20,000 sales for a Gold certification. In 2010, this was adjusted to 40,000 sales for a Gold certification in response to the emerging digital market. In 2008, Music Canada adjusted the sales criteria for a Gold album from 50,000 to 40,000 in response to market changes.
In September 2016, Music Canada launched the new Single Award, which combines on-demand streams with digital download and physical single sales. The launch of the award coincided with new bilingual branding for the program, including Gold/Platinum specific Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages. In July 2017, Music Canada updated the Album Award guidelines to include Track Equivalent Album (TEA) and Stream Equivalent Album (SEA) towards certification.
Click here to view Music Canada’s current Gold/Platinum certification level definitions.
Who Can Become Certified?
Albums , singles, music DVD’s, and ringtones are certified after an application is made by the artist’s record label. Proof of sales is required, and subject to audit. To ensure the continuing reliability of the data submitted by the record companies for review, field reviews by Grant Thornton are completed regularly.
How Do I Become Certified?
To be eligible for certification, an artist or their label must submit an application. Certifications are included in the membership fees for Music Canada members, and can be submitted through Gold/Platinum’s online portal. Non-member labels will be charged a $75 fee for a title’s certification, and will need to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance.
The awards themselves are designed by our exclusive suppliers, and contain official “Certified Canadian Gold” ingots and album art. All orders must be received by the Music Canada office before confirmation of certification and order is given to the supplier.
In order to be approved for certification, a title’s combined sales and streams must meet the following criteria:
A permanent digital download of a track or full album from legal Digital Service Providers (DSP) will be accepted towards certification. The price of the download must reflect the current market rate, and will be evaluated upon submissions by Music Canada staff. Promotional tracks available as a free download will not count towards certification.
On-demand audio streams of tracks from paid and ad-supported subscription services will be accepted towards streaming data totals. Official video streams and User Generated Content (UGC) will not be accepted towards any certification at this time.
150 eligible streams will count as 1 unit towards Single Award certifications (150:1).
TEA and SEA will be counted as units towards Album Award certification using the following criteria:
- TEA: 10 track downloads = 1 unit towards certification
- SEA: 1500 on-demand audio streams = 1 unit towards certification
Individual track sales and streaming data can be put forward for both a Single and Album certification, and will remain eligible if applied to one award first.
Sales/streams of alternate versions of a track cannot be included towards Album certification, unless the version has also been included on some variation of the album (ex. standard, deluxe, etc.)
For Greatest Hits compilation certifications, only track sales and streams that occur after the Greatest Hits albums’ release date are eligible. For Compilation album, TEA and SEA will only count towards certification if the track is unique to the album.
Physical CD, vinyl, and cassette tape sales will be considered for certification on the basis of domestic net shipment figures (total shipments less returns) of commercial sound recordings for sale to the public. Promotional copies for radio and press review purposes will not be included. Sales to record clubs are eligible, provided sales constitute an “arms length” transaction.
Multi-unit package is 3 or more vinyl, or 2 or more Compact Discs in a package. Each unit within the set counts as one unit towards certification, provided pricing reflects multi-units.
The net shipment figures of recordings re-released with new mixes or additional tracks will be added to the shipment total of the original release provided the title of the recording remains the same, and at least 80% of the original recording’s track listing is retained.
Physical single sales will count as 1 unit towards Single Award certification.