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Music Canada

Gold/Platinum

 Music Canada

Gold/Platinum FAQ

What is Gold Platinum Certification?

Music Canada’s Gold/Platinum Certification Program was launched in 1975 to celebrate milestone sales of music in Canada. With over 20,000 albums, singles, digital downloads, ringtones, and music videos certified over the Program’s history, it provides a unique historical timeline of popular music in Canada.

Over the years, the Certification criteria have evolved to reflect changing market conditions, ensuring the currency of the Program for the evolving music industry. For example, in 2008, Music Canada added the Digital Downloads category to address the new way that consumers were enjoying music. 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 that 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) units toward Certification.

Music Canada’s Online Database can be searched for Gold/Platinum Award recipients over the years.


Who Can Become Certified?

Applications for Music Canada’s Gold/Platinum Certification Program are open to any recording artist who has released music that is available to Canadian music consumers. Applicants must meet all Certification requirements, as more fully detailed below in these Guidelines. These Guidelines may be updated from time to time at the discretion of Music Canada.

Click here to view requirements for each of the Gold/Platinum Certification levels.


How Do I Become Certified?

To be Certified, the rights holder (the artist, label, or whomever it may be) must submit an application through Music Canada’s Gold/Platinum online portal. Before doing so, the Applicant must first set up an Application account by contacting goldplat@musiccanada.com.

If an Applicant has a question about the Program or the application process, they may contact goldplat@musiccanada.com for information.


Certification Criteria (Definitions)

Single Awards:

Music Canada recognizes the following Single Award tiers:

  • Gold: 40,000 Units
  • Platinum: 80,000 Units
  • Multi-Platinum: 160,000 Units (increments of 80,000 thereafter)
  • Diamond: 800,000 Units

The following formula is used to determine a track’s total units for Certification:

Digital & Physical Single Sales

+ On-Demand Audio Stream Equivalents

= Total Units for Single Award Certification

Units for Single Awards are calculated as follows:

  • 150 eligible streams count as 1 unit towards Single Award Certifications (i.e., 150:1).
  • Physical single sales count as 1 unit towards Single Award Certifications.
Album Awards:

Music Canada recognizes the following Album Award tiers:

  • Gold: 40,000 Units
  • Platinum: 80,000 Units
  • Multi-Platinum: 160,000 Units (increments of 80,000 thereafter)
  • Diamond: 800,000 Units

*Note that different tiers are applicable to albums released before May 1, 2008. For those tiers, please visit here.

The following formula is used to determine an album’s total units for Certification:

Digital & Physical Album Sales

+ TEA (Track Equivalent Album)

+ SEA (Single Equivalent Album)

= Total Units for Album Award Certification

Units for Album Awards are calculated as follows:

  • TEA: 10 track downloads = 1 unit toward Certification.
  • SEA: 1500 on-demand audio streams = 1 unit toward Certification.
Music DVD Awards:

Music Canada recognizes the following Music DVD Award tiers (based on physical units only):

  • Gold: 5,000 Units
  • Platinum: 10,000 Units
  • Multi-Platinum: 20,000 Units (increments of 10,000 thereafter)
  • Diamond: 200,000 Units
Ringtone Awards:

Music Canada recognizes the following Ringtone Award tiers (based on purchased units only):

  • Gold: 20,000 Units
  • Platinum: 40,000 Units
  • Multi-Platinum: 80,000 Units (increments of 40,000 thereafter)
  • Diamond: 800,000 Units
Certification requirements for all awards:
  • Applications must be made by the rights holder, who may be verified by Music Canada.
  • All Applications must be supported by verifiable, auditable evidence of units of physical sales within Canada or of permanent digital downloads or on-demand audio streams within Canada from a Music Canada-approved Digital Service Provider (DSP) (an “Approved DSP”).
  • A permanent digital download of a track or full album from an Approved DSP is accepted towards Certification, provided that.the price of the download reflects fair market value, which is determined by Music Canada. Promotional tracks or ringtones available as a free download do not count towards Certification.
  • On-demand audio streams of tracks within Canada from an Approved DSP are accepted towards streaming data totals.
  • Sales and streams must occur within the Canadian market to count towards Certification.
  • Individual track sales and streaming data can be put forward for both a Single Award and Album Award Certification.
  • Alternative versions of a track (e.g., remixes, instrumental versions, extended versions, etc.) are not eligible for Album Award certification unless the alternative version is included on some variation of the album (e.g., standard, deluxe, etc.). For Nielsen Connect users, please select “Album ISRC Only” before exporting the album’s data from the service.
  • For Greatest Hits compilation Certifications, digital and physical album sales of the full compilation can only be combined with individual track sales and streams (i.e., TEA and SEA) that occur after the Greatest Hits album’s release date. For Compilation albums, TEA and SEA only count towards Certification if the track is unique to the album.
  • Physical CD, vinyl, DVD, and cassette tape sales are considered for Certification on the basis of sales reports of domestic net shipment figures (total shipments less returns) of commercial sound recordings for sale at fair market value to the public in Canada. All sales reports are subject to verification by Music Canada and its approved third party verification service. Certification may be refused in the case of a discrepancy between sales report figures and third party verification service figures.
  • For Certifications involving multi-unit packages (i.e., 3 or more vinyl LPs, or 2 or more Compact Discs in a package) — each unit within the set counts as one unit towards Certification, provided pricing reflects the typical fair market value of each of the constituent components of the package. In other words, each sale of a multi-unit package counts as a sale of each individual item in the set only if the set pricing reflects multiple units, i.e., the price for the set is higher than the price of each of the individual component units.
  • The total sales of recordings re-released with new mixes or additional tracks will be added to the certified sales total of the original release, provided the title of the recording remains the same, and at least 80% of the original recording’s tracks remain the same.
  • The Music DVD Award is intended for releases containing live and studio recorded musical performance footage. Music documentaries and motion pictures not released exclusively by a record label do not qualify for this award.
  • The following are not accepted towards Certification:
    • Video streams (such as YouTube videos) are not eligible towards Certification.
    • Promotional copies of physical units for radio and press review purposes and free album downloads. However, sales to record clubs are eligible, provided the sales constitute an “arms length” transaction (to be determined by Music Canada).
    • Sales receipts for physical units unverified by a Music Canada-approved third party verification system.

Please note that as part of the review of each Application, Music Canada reserves the right to use an independent and verifiable third party source (of its choice) to verify the units claimed in the Application. In the event of a discrepancy between that third party verification and that claimed in the Application, Music Canada can conduct further investigations or elect to refuse the Application in its discretion, in order to maintain the integrity of the Program. If an Application is denied, Music Canada will contact the Applicant to explain the reasoning.


Preparation of Plaques Following Certification

The Award Plaques are designed by Music Canada’s exclusive suppliers (selected at its discretion) and contain official “Certified Canadian [Gold or Platinum]” ingots and album art. Following Certification, Award plaques can be ordered through Music Canada’s online portal. Pricing will depend on certification level, customization, and shipping costs. Please contact goldplat@musiccanada.com for more information.

This website made possible with the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation.