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The RIAA Says 1500 Streams = 1 Album Sale (riaa.com) 98

AmiMoJo writes: The RIAA is modernizing its gold and platinum album certifications to include streaming. An album must reach 500,000 sales to go gold, 1,000,000 for platinum and 2,000,000 for multi-platinum. 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 to 'reflect the enormous growth of streaming consumption'.
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The RIAA Says 1500 Streams = 1 Album Sale

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  • Not bad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ArmoredDragon ( 3450605 ) on Monday February 15, 2016 @11:52AM (#51511723)

    It's not bad for a technology that they tried to ban once.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    That their damages for streaming pirated material go down too? No? Oh how hypocritcal we are. Bastards!

  • by theCzechGuy ( 1888010 ) on Monday February 15, 2016 @11:57AM (#51511781)
    How does this add up with 1 illegal download = 1 missed sale?
    • by jerpyro ( 926071 )

      So if we go with the $3000 settlement price of torrenting an album/movie, that must mean a torrent is worth ~300 albums, so maybe they could factor in the number of seeders on trackers. By that logic, torrenting someone's album is worth ~450,000 streams! Sweet!

    • I guess it means 1500 downloads = 1 lost sale? I dunno, is that individual tracks? then you'd have to average the amount of tracks on a CD, then run that against that number. So 1500 streams equals a sale, typically you'll see 10ish tracks per disk. And I've already lost interest in this discussion
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It doesn't. You can't easily use this metric alone to estimate piracy effects. Their metric is on-demand streaming plays. If you torrent an album, you might listen to each track a number of times.

      • yes, but 1500 times? Assuming avg album length is 60 minutes, so you avg 1hr (1 playback of entire album) every day, then it would take you something like 4.1 years to accomplish this. Even if you took the extreme case of listening to the album everyday, all day while you are awake (let's assume this is avg 16 hrs/day), then it would still take you more than 3 months time, and this is just to complete 1 album. So you could get 4 albums thoroughly "listened" in a year by RIAAs wonderful math.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          A single song by Eminem on youtube can easily have 100+ million views. You figure an average album is ~10 songs that's 1 billion views. 1 billion streams/ 1500 = 666,666 albums sold. That sounds about right, considering Eminem will also be selling millions anyway (Recovery sold ~16,000,000 world wide).

          And this scenario, of course, assumes an album with 10 songs, and only streams on youtube are counting - there are plenty of other streaming sources: Spotify, Pandora, tons of internet radios, etc. Addition

      • It doesn't. You can't easily use this metric alone to estimate piracy effects.

        Correct. If someone pirates something without buying it, they may discover it sucks before RIAA has their money in pocket.

        The effects are most often felt by people who make music which sucks, and by companies that suck at picking winners, and RIAA, which used to win either way, but now has a lower income from music which sucks being sold.

        Think how much the software industry would suffer, were we to effectively eliminate "shrink wrap licenses", the same way piracy eliminates them for music which sucks...

        • The days of buying an album just because you really like one song on it are over.

          Back in the day, the only album I liked every track on was Van Halen's Best of Vol 1.
          Paying $16 for Chumbawamba's Tubthumper just because "Tubthumping" (the "I get knocked down, but I get up again" / "pissing the night away" song) was such an earworm was ridiculous, but I couldn't get that on a CD single (which were often $5), let alone around $1 today (and that's versus '90s dollars).

          Speaking of CD Singles, I ended up buying a

      • Every person who ever torrented an album would have to listen to it at least 150 times and every single one would have to buy it if they couldn't download it for RIAA reasoning to make sense. But yeah, that doesn't add up.
    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      Because incoming dollars are different from outgoing dollars. This is Hollywood Accounting 101.

      I believe the origin is when they wrote in pencil and to make it clear what the difference was, they wrote incoming amounts with a dot and outgoing ones without one.

      So USD100 and USD1.00 used to be the same as they were in different columns.

    • Well it seems to, because stream != download.

      They appear to equate a download with a physcial sale; 10 song downloads (i.e. iTunes purchase) = 1 album sale

      They also count 1500 song streams = 1 album sale, but that's a side issue if you count an illegal download as a download, not a stream (which does make sense on the surface), then 1 illegal download does equal 1 lost sale.

    • by mysidia ( 191772 )

      How does this add up with 1 illegal download = 1 missed sale?

      Since we're all Anti-Piracy, Pro-DRM, Anti-Piracy....

      Why don't we just store a unique code in each music file and update music player software to count "Number of listens", by incrementing a counter and submitting the HASH codes of songs listened to back to the RIAA ?

      Then they can count the number of times purchased music has been played and record a "Virtual Sale" every time you listen to what you bought 1500 times....... Or at

  • Who gives a flying fuck about them anymore? That association made itself irrelevant.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Who gives a flying fuck about them anymore? That association made itself irrelevant.

      They get to buy laws. That makes them fairly relevant.

  • Trolling opportunity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by war4peace ( 1628283 ) on Monday February 15, 2016 @12:02PM (#51511817)

    Let's find a shitty new song and automate streaming requests for it.
    United Slashdotters could push a piece 'o' crap album to multi-platinum in like, what, 5 days?

  • by wcrowe ( 94389 ) on Monday February 15, 2016 @12:06PM (#51511855)

    "C'mon guys, we are still relevant! See?"

  • by gillbates ( 106458 ) on Monday February 15, 2016 @12:07PM (#51511881) Homepage Journal

    When the riaa shares the artist's work 1500 times, that's one album sale for the artist.

    When you share the artist's work once - even if it was never download - that's a grand jury indictment, $250,000 per copy, plus lawyer fees....

  • MAFIAA cop math (Score:5, Insightful)

    by L. J. Beauregard ( 111334 ) on Monday February 15, 2016 @12:09PM (#51511895)

    Streaming is worth a tenth of a cent when we're asked to pay royalties, but a million bucks when we're suing you and twisting your ISP's arm.

    • by dwywit ( 1109409 )

      And the Copyright Review Board just raised royalty rates, AND allowed a "small broadcaster" rebate/discount system to expire.

      Result? Goodbye Live365, goodbye many small, niche broadcasters that I liked to listen to (paid subscriber, me), and goodbye even a small revenue stream for dozens of artists.

      Good move CRB, now those artists will get NO money from those broadcasters.

  • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Monday February 15, 2016 @12:12PM (#51511923) Homepage Journal

    Poor Jethro Tull [wikipedia.org] and Edge of Sanity [wikipedia.org]!

  • Who cares what the RIAA says? Just because shit sells doesn't mean it's worth listening to.

    It's like those "10 billion hamburgers sold" signs at fast-food restaurants.

    • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

      Or those commercials that say X number of million people can't be wrong.
      Yes yes they can just ask AOL.

    • Just because shit sells doesn't mean it's worth listening to.

      Apparently the people buying it all disagree with you. Then again it's incredibly easy to be snobby about music. Personally, I only listen to recycled-keyboard folk electronica bands from East London. Fortunately, they understand that being exceptionally exclusive is the main appeal, so if they get more than 15 followers they split up and re-form under a new name.

      • It's not about being snobby about music, it's about being able to decide what you like on your own without having to listen to what the RIAA wants you to listen to. It could be that you have the same taste as what the RIAA is trying to sell, nothing bad about that if it's really your own decision.

        Also, recycled-keyboard folk electronica bands from East London suck, you should try recycled-keyboard folk electronica bands from West London.

  • This is pretty rich coming from people who count single downloads as multiple lost sales [riaa.com].

    Sort of like every time I look at your wife, it means I've banged her six times.

  • by drkstr1 ( 2072368 ) on Monday February 15, 2016 @12:21PM (#51511983)
    Get stuffed RIAA and your ilk. The only IP right I recognize is the right of citation. Given that assumption, I can only view your organization as a leach on society, using your might to steal our knowledge and culture away from us. Your unjust laws that were foisted upon us are working for now, but your days are numbered. Every day there is one more like me, and one less like you. It won't be long until your laws are ignored entirely. What will you do then? Arrest us all? No, you must adapt into an entity that provides an actual value to society or risk becoming irrelevant, just like the rest of us. I wish you luck in your incredible journey.
  • I can't wait for the next time that they try and claim in court that 1 illegal music download is worth hundreds of thousands in damages at the same time that this is true.

  • This is just an announcement of an update to how they weight their stats, of some interest to those who care about sales figures and the like. Not everything the RIAA does has to be evil or malicious. Sometimes they're just running a record industry association.
  • If this change in math is not accompanied by Spotify and other services paying the artist 1/1500 of a CD cost per streaming play, these numbers mean diddlysquat.

  • So no laws were broken. Move Along.
  • So every 1500 songs I'm not streaming is a lost sale, then? Then I'm doing the right thing by keeping my Rhapsody playlist small; eventually all the sales I'm stealing should bankrupt them, right?
  • That means we now have a number to adjust their piracy claims on.

    1500 downloads means a $19.00 fine.

  • That just seems very very low. People love music, music is bigger than movies. I'm not sure how many people go to watch movies (I cannot find any records), but considering that I have heard that movies cost/make billions of dollars we can make some good estimates.
    Lets consider that a block buster film makes 1 billion (many have made more), and what does a ticket cost $15? So a blockbuster movie has an audience of say 70,000,000 at least.

    People listen to way more songs than they go to watch movies, why is an

    • If the internet is to be believed, there are about 600 MPAA-associated movies released every year, as compared to roughly 75,000 music albums. That's 125 albums for every movie. How many albums does the average person buy compared to the number of times they go to the movies each year.

      Or, to put it in streams, 125 albums / movie x 1500 streams / album = 187,500 streams / movie. At 2:45 minutes per stream, you would have to listen 24x7x365 to have the equivalent impact of one movie.

      • But both likely have the audiences clumped into a handful of them. Their are less than 10 big movies each year, and maybe twice as many that people are aware of. Similarly, music outside of top 100 charts is likely very little known.

  • When calculating how much was lost when people are torrenting music they would be: one stream one sale.
  • What's the music industry have to do with sales now anyway, they are too busy suing their customers? IT companies with an updated "technology friendly" business model like Apple, Google, Spotify, etc, are who sells music nowadays. They have taken over the record industries distribution and they should decide how to calculate "record" sales.
  • yeah here is a song to think about RIAA asswipes:

    "Uprising"

    Paranoia is in bloom,
    The PR transmissions will resume
    They'll try to push drugs that keep us all dumbed down
    And hope that we will never see the truth around
    (so come on)

    Another promise, another seed
    Another packaged lie to keep us trapped in greed
    And all the green belts wrapped around our minds
    And endless red tape to keep the truth confined
    (so come on)

    They will not force us
    They will stop degrading us
    They will not control us
    We will be victorious
    (so come

  • 1500 torrent shares = 1 album sale in their "lost profit" calculations?

  • How long before it occurs to them that recording a stream is a trivial undertaking?

Every young man should have a hobby: learning how to handle money is the best one. -- Jack Hurley

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