The global music industry typically awards recordings with certification awards
Music recording sales certification is a system of certifying that a music recording has shipped or sold a certain number of copies, where the threshold quantity varies by type and by nation or territory .Almost all countries follow variations of the RIAA certification categories,...
based on the total units sold, or shipped to the retailers. These awards and their requirements are defined by the various certifying bodies representing the music industry in various countries and territories worldwide. The standard certification awards given consist of various combinations of Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond awards, in ascending order. In most cases, a "Multi-Platinum" or "Multi-Diamond" award is given for multiples of the Platinum or Diamond requirements.
Many music industries across the globe are represented by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). The IFPI operates in 66 countries and services affiliated industry associations in 45 countries. In some cases the IFPI is merely affiliated with the already operational certification bodies of a country, but in many others countries with lesser-developed industries, the IFPI acts as the sole certifying body servicing the country or region's music industry. Still other countries not represented by the IFPI have certifying bodies operating independently, such as individual record companies which service the country or region's music industry as a whole.
Though all certifying bodies give awards for album
An album is a collection of recordings, released as a single package on gramophone record, cassette, compact disc, or via digital distribution. The word derives from the Latin word for list .Vinyl LP records have two sides, each comprising one half of the album...
sales or shipments, many also certify singles
In music, a single or record single is a type of release, typically a recording of fewer tracks than an LP or a CD. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, the single is a song that is released separately from an album, but it can still appear...
, legal digital downloads, music videos, music DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....
s, and master
A multitrack recording master tape, disk or computer files on which productions are developed for later mixing, is known as the multi-track master, while the tape, disk or computer files holding a mix is called a mixed master.It is standard practice to make a copy of a master recording, known as...
ringtones. Additionally, some certifying bodies have separate threshold scales for works of domestic or international origins, varying genres, lengths, and formats.
- Legend: Top numbers represent sales for domestic material, italicized numbers in parentheses represent sales for international material if different from the domestic requirement. Other notes and exceptions are provided in footnotes below each table.
I Australian, Danish, Finnish, German, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish, British and American figures can include digital album sales.
II GCC sales refer to sales in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE.
III For German sales, the thresholds in the table are for albums released from January 1, 2003. For albums released until September 24, 1999 the thresholds are 250,000 for Gold and 500,000 for Platinum. For albums released between September 25, 1999 and December 31, 2002 the thresholds are 150,000 for Gold and 300,000 for Platinum. Also, for Jazz albums, the thresholds are 10,000 for Gold and 20,000 for Platinum.
IV Hungarian sales figures provided refer to "Pop" albums. A separate scale is used for jazz, spoken word, classical, and world music albums: sales exceeding 1,500 and 3,000 for Gold and Platinum awards respectively.
V Indian figures provided refer to "Hindi Films" and "International" scales. However, there are six separate release scales in all. Each scale is provided here with Gold and Platinum sales thresholds in parentheses: "Hindi Films" (100,000; 200,000); "Regional Films" (50,000; 100,000); "Regional Basic" (25,000, 50,000); "National Basic" (50,000; 100,000); "Classical/Non-Classical" (15,000; 30,000); and "International" (4,000; 6,000). In addition, there is a time limit for an album in one of the categories to reach gold and platinum, which is in one calendar year (for example: albums released on July 1, 2006, has only until June 30, 2007 for a Gold or Platinum award).
VI Malaysian sales figures provided refer to albums released after 1 July 2009. For albums released before 1 July 2009, sales exceeding 10,000 and 20,000 for Gold and Platinum awards, respectively. Physical albums only; when combined with digital sales, thresholds are 15,000 for Gold and 30,000 for Platinum, whereby the digital sales are counted as 1/10 actual digital sales (10 downloads = 1 unit).
VII Mexican sales figures provided refer to physical album sales. A separate scale is used for digital album sales via digital download: sales exceeding 5,000 and 10,000 for Gold and Platinum awards respectively. Thresholds for productions before 1 July 2009 differ: 40,000; 80,000; and 400,000 for Gold, Platinum, and Diamond, respectively (see AMPROFON
Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas is a non-profit organization integrated by multinational and national record companies in Mexico. Established on April 3, 1963, it groups phonographic companies that represent more than 70 percent of the market in Mexico...
for full details). Note that Mexico awards incremental Gold certifications even after Platinum has been achieved, so that an album may hold, for example, 2×Platinum+Gold certification.
VIII Dutch sales figures provided refer to "Popular" albums. A separate scale is used for jazz, classical, and world music albums: sales exceeding 10,000 and 20,000 for Gold and Platinum awards respectively.
IX Polish sales figures provided refer to "Pop" albums. Separate scales are used for jazz/classical albums, and soundtracks. Each scale is provided here with Gold, Platinum, and Diamond sales thresholds in parentheses: "Jazz/Classical" (5,000; 10,000; 50,000); and "Soundtracks" (10,000; 20,000; 100,000).
X Swedish sales figures provided refer to "Pop" albums. A separate scale is used for children, jazz, classical, and folk music albums: sales exceeding 10,000 and 20,000 for Gold and Platinum awards respectively.
XI South African sales figures provided refer to albums released after 1 August 2006. For albums released before 1 August 2006, a Gold award is given for sales exceeding 25,000, a Platinum award for sales exceeding 50,000.
XII United Kingdom thresholds were established in 1979 for albums above a minimum . From 1973–79 the thresholds were based on monetary revenue: Platinum (£
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...
1,000,000), Gold (£150,000 from April 1973 to September 1974, £250,000 from September 1974 to January 1977, and £300,000 from 1977 until 1979) and Silver (£75,000 from April 1973 to January 1975, £100,000 from January 1975 to January 1977, and £150,000 from 1977 until 1979)..
XIII Awarded for actual retail sales in the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and United Kingdom.
XIII Australian, Danish, Finnish, German, Irish, Italian, New Zealand, Norwegian, Swedish, and British figures can include sales from legal digital downloads.
XIV For German sales, the thresholds in the table are for singles released from January 1, 2003. For singles released prior to that thresholds are 250,000 for Gold and 500,000 for Platinum. Also, for Jazz singles, the thresholds are 10,000 for Gold and 20,000 for Platinum.
XV Malaysian sales figures for physical singles only; when combined with digital sales, thresholds are 15,000 for Gold and 30,000 for Platinum, whereby the digital sales are counted as 1/10 actual digital sales (10 downloads = 1 unit).
XVI In the United Kingdom, the number of sales required to qualify for Platinum, Gold and Silver discs was dropped for singles released after 1 January 1989 to the current thresholds of Silver (200,000 units), Gold (400,000 units), and Platinum (600,000 units). Prior to this the thresholds were Silver (250,000 units), Gold (500,000 units), and Platinum (1,000,000 units).
XVII In the United States, the number of sales required to qualify for Platinum and Gold discs was dropped for singles released after 1 January 1989 to the current thresholds of Gold (500,000 units) and Platinum (1,000,000 units). Prior to this the thresholds were Gold (1,000,000 units), and Platinum (2,000,000 units).
Digital download singles
XVIII Japanese awards refer to online singles and mobile singles.
XIX Japanese physical and digital download sales exceeding 1,000,000 are given the "million" award, not "Diamond".
XX Danish DVD sales figures provided refer to Music/Single DVDs. Full-length DVDs are on a differing scale: sales exceeding 10,000 and 20,000 for Gold and Platinum awards (beginning January 7, 2011), reduced from 15,000 and 30,000 copies, respectively.
XXI Hungarian DVD sales figures provided refer to "Pop" DVDs. A separate scale is used for jazz, spoken word, classical, and world music DVDs: sales exceeding 1,000 and 2,000 for Gold and Platinum awards respectively.
XXII Polish sales figures provided refer to "Pop" music videos. A separate scale is used for jazz/classical music videos: sales exceeding 2,500, 5,000, and 25,000 for Gold, Platinum, and Diamond awards respectively.
XXIII U.S. sales figures provided refer to "Video singles". A separate scale is used for "Long form videos" and "Multi-Box Music Video Sets": sales exceeding 50,000 and 100,000 for Gold and Platinum awards respectively.
XXIV Japanese master ringtone sales exceeding 1,000,000, is awarded "million", rather than "diamond".
- RIAA certification
In the United States, the Recording Industry Association of America awards certification based on the number of albums and singles sold through retail and other ancillary markets. Other countries have similar awards...
- Lists of best-selling albums
- List of best-selling singles
- Global music industry market share data
Note that this list ranks the markets based on retail value each market generates respectively per year. The retail value generated by each market varies from year to year. The figures are based on IFPI annual reports.-IFPI 2009 data:...