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So What Do Gold and Platinum Plaques really mean?

RED HoodRED Hood Posts: 617
edited August 2011 in The Reason
By Jeff Price

Some time ago, we had a TuneCore Artist sell thousands of copies of his single every week. The song and sales caught the attention of a major label, the two met and a marketing/distribution deal was struck directly between them. The single went on to break into the commercial radio charts and sold over a million copies within a year.

Recently, the label reached out to TuneCore asking for sales info on the single prior to the artist working with the label – they are trying to get an RIAA platinum sales award for the single.

There is something very wrong with this picture

Before the digital world, Gold Records (500,000 units), Platinum Records (1,000,000 units) and, for a short time, Diamond Records (10,000,000 units) were based on the number of physical units shipped, not sold. If the label/distributor could ship a certain number of copies of a release into the market, it was eligible to buy a sales award “certified” by the RIAA, a trade organization created to represent the interest of its label members. However, everything that was shipped to record stores could be returned back to the distributor for a refund. A label could literally ship out a million CDS, sell a lot less than they shipped but still be eligible to buy a plaque. This was sort of a “who watches the watchman” situation, but it made sense as distribution was consolidated and controlled by the RIAA members.

As absurd as this may sound, this system actually worked pretty well. Most labels did not want to spend huge amounts of money manufacturing inventory that they knew they would not sell just so they could ship it. Nor did they want to pay additional money to force inventory onto shelves of record stores so they could get the opportunity to spend even more money to buy a RIAA certified shipment plaque to hang on the wall (although it did happen). And finally, the majority of music being released and distributed was going through the RIAA member’s pipelines.

http://blog.tunecore.com/2011/04/getting-a-gold-record-by-selling-nothing.html?utm_medium=email&ref=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=newseletter04_28_11

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Replies

  • RED HoodRED Hood Posts: 617
    edited April 2011
    bump..............
  • georgia boigeorgia boi Posts: 3,359 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2011
    Interesting article. So it appears that before people could purchase music digitally, record labels were cheating by using "units shipped" to inflate the numbers that they sold. It kind of makes sense because before the purchase of digital downloads gained steam, it was common for artists to sell at least 3-5 million copies of an album. Now, going gold is like the standard. It seems like these days that the numbers sold are units that were actually purchased by consumers rather than the number of units shipped inflating the actual amount sold.
  • MC The RapperMC The Rapper Posts: 8,140 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2011
    Interesting article. So it appears that before people could purchase music digitally, record labels were cheating by using "units shipped" to inflate the numbers that they sold. It kind of makes sense because before the purchase of digital downloads gained steam, it was common for artists to sell at least 3-5 million copies of an album. Now, going gold is like the standard. It seems like these days that the numbers sold are units that were actually purchased by consumers rather than the number of units shipped inflating the actual amount sold.

    Yeah so artists were never moving that many units. This really gives you a different perspective on the music industry and success
  • Miles HIGHMiles HIGH Posts: 5,441 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2011
    So, this is part of the reason why niggas could "sell" 5 million albums and still be broke as fuck...
  • MC The RapperMC The Rapper Posts: 8,140 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2011
    Miles HIGH wrote: »
    So, this is part of the reason why niggas could "sell" 5 million albums and still be broke as fuck...

    even if they sold five million the record company would still get a huge portion of that. Remember they put the artist in debt from jump they make it hard for you to recoup the

    money they put into the album .
  • thesynthesisthesynthesis Posts: 9,230 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2011
    Miles HIGH wrote: »
    So, this is part of the reason why niggas could "sell" 5 million albums and still be broke as fuck...

    no the reason why niggas cud sell 5 million and still be broke is because they were only gettin a tiny percentage from the sales....the rest of the money spent on marketing, videos, mixing, mastering, beats, writers, a&r's, singers was subtracted from the artists money...so they were left with a tiny sum....now if the artist had negotiated a good percentage then he wud be caking

    like master p nogiated a great percentage for every record sold, which made him a multi millionaire over night

    now because of the internet, downloading has fucked up the game for the artist.
  • georgia boigeorgia boi Posts: 3,359 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2011
    no the reason why niggas cud sell 5 million and still be broke is because they were only gettin a tiny percentage from the sales....the rest of the money spent on marketing, videos, mixing, mastering, beats, writers, a&r's, singers was subtracted from the artists money...so they were left with a tiny sum....now if the artist had negotiated a good percentage then he wud be caking

    like master p nogiated a great percentage for every record sold, which made him a multi millionaire over night

    now because of the internet, downloading has fucked up the game for the artist.

    In a sense the artist suffers because of downloading, but now the labels also feel the burn. For the artist, it is pretty much the same. According to this article, there was a lot of posturing done by the labels regarding record sales to make it appear that than artist had went platinum and multi-platinum because of units shipped, not sold. Albums being certified multi-platinum that probably sold like half in actuality, but an artist only gets a percentage of it. With downloading, they really have to "sell" the albums to get a certification, not just ship them. Of course they still certify albums before they actually sell the required units for certification, but these days, they have to be pretty close to that amount to get the certification.
  • young lawyoung law Posts: 4,537 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2011
    ________________________
  • young lawyoung law Posts: 4,537 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2011
    damn
    def jam been on the money wit buying albums for artists

    too bad they never did that for ghostface and redman

    and i wonder what rick ross numbers really look like.

    this shit is crazy
  • wordsRweaponswordsRweapons Posts: 3,217 ✭✭
    edited August 2011
    damn what the fuck??

    No wonder sales are down then. You cant fake a digital purchase.Shit got me wondering now...
  • lamontbdclamontbdc 16th & UPosts: 18,824 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2011
    This shit sounds about right. Labels and execs fudging the numbers and rappers going along with it so they can claim the platinum or gold plague. at the end of the day for label it's still a wash out money wise when they have to take the albums back. But the press you get from saying so and so is a platinum selling artists is worth that price. Just another reason why fans shouldn't be so caught up in this shit. just embrace or don't embrace the music. niggas are trying to hard to be sideline music execs.
  • MC The RapperMC The Rapper Posts: 8,140 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2011
    Payola is running wild in the industry from paying for magazine covers, reviews, radio spins and ya video to get played . Hip Hop is a pay to play industry shit even twitter followers can

    be brought and paid for . if you got 6 thou you can get ya vid on MTV you just gotta know the right people .
  • H-Rap 180H-Rap 180 Posts: 15,452 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2011
    damn what the fuck??

    No wonder sales are down then. You cant fake a digital purchase.Shit got me wondering now...

    The positive thing is that this came out in 2002, since then they have put in precautionary measures to ensure this dosent happen.

    The digital takeover helped also because like you said you can't fake a digital purchase.
    GOOD MUSIC
    #iTunes ❚ <>09/12 <>❚ #iTunes
    goodmusic_lead-590x380.jpeg
    Follow @BruthaDee @BruthaDee @BruthaDee @BruthaDee Follow


  • MC The RapperMC The Rapper Posts: 8,140 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2011
    nah this was recent like 2010 when beamer benz and bentley came out
  • young lawyoung law Posts: 4,537 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2011
    you can fake digital sales

    as longs you set up dummies or even pay people to buy the album thru various accounts then you can still inflate the fandom of an album

    jus like that white kid from boston did.

    people get caught up when they do it all from the same account/location but its companies out there that will set up as many accounts/fake fans as you can afford to spread out the buys so it looks organic
  • H-Rap 180H-Rap 180 Posts: 15,452 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2011
    nah this was recent like 2010 when beamer benz and bentley came out

    Do you have a link?

    The article I read was from 2004 and another one said the lawsuit was 2002.


    young law wrote: »
    you can fake digital sales

    as longs you set up dummies or even pay people to buy the album thru various accounts then you can still inflate the fandom of an album

    jus like that white kid from boston did.

    people get caught up when they do it all from the same account/location but its companies out there that will set up as many accounts/fake fans as you can afford to spread out the buys so it looks organic

    Did you just type "pay people to buy the album"
    GOOD MUSIC
    #iTunes ❚ <>09/12 <>❚ #iTunes
    goodmusic_lead-590x380.jpeg
    Follow @BruthaDee @BruthaDee @BruthaDee @BruthaDee Follow


  • MC The RapperMC The Rapper Posts: 8,140 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2011
    H-Rap 180 wrote: »
    Do you have a link?

    The article I read was from 2004 and another one said the lawsuit was 2002.





    Did you just type "pay people to buy the album"[/QUOTE

    http://blog.tunecore.com/2011/04/getting-a-gold-record-by-selling-nothing.html?utm_medium=email&ref=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=newseletter04_28_11

    They was talking about Lloyd Banks because he didn't have a deal when beamer benz and bentley popped and sold he was a tunecore artist before G-Unit got they new deal with

    sony
  • Cabana_Da_DonCabana_Da_Don Posts: 7,992 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2011
    Thats a not even a hustle thats cheating.
  • young lawyoung law Posts: 4,537 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2011
    damn
    jus heard a lil bit of that song otis

    got dayum thats terrible

    wtf were they thinkin
  • MC The RapperMC The Rapper Posts: 8,140 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2011
    young law wrote: »
    you can fake digital sales

    as longs you set up dummies or even pay people to buy the album thru various accounts then you can still inflate the fandom of an album

    jus like that white kid from boston did.

    people get caught up when they do it all from the same account/location but its companies out there that will set up as many accounts/fake fans as you can afford to spread out the buys so it looks organic

    The was saying Sam Adams faked his shit but they could not prove it and i have yet to run across a company that provides that service
  • young lawyoung law Posts: 4,537 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2011
    yeah
    they pay people 1 dollar to watch videos and 1.50 to watch the video and press like/give a comment

    they aslo pay people to buy albums/songs thru itunes/tunecore

    kinda like gold farming in mmorpg's,its spread across the world
  • MC The RapperMC The Rapper Posts: 8,140 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2011
    young law wrote: »
    yeah
    they pay people 1 dollar to watch videos and 1.50 to watch the video and press like/give a comment

    they aslo pay people to buy albums/songs thru itunes/tunecore

    kinda like gold farming in mmorpg's,its spread across the world

    can i get a link
  • young lawyoung law Posts: 4,537 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2011
    can i get a link

    i cant put that on this site
    but you know there is another place i could tell you
  • king hassanking hassan south side somewherePosts: 22,737 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2011
    This is old news.
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