Recording Industries Association of America [RIAA]
- Timothy M. Crain
An organization that represents the US recording industry; its members include record labels and distributors that collectively create and distribute the vast majority of recorded music sold in the United States. In addition, the RIAA works to protect intellectual property rights and the rights of artists through consumer, industry, and technical research, and by monitoring state and federal laws, regulations, and policies.
The RIAA was formed in 1952 primarily to administer technical standards in the industry as applied to frequency response in vinyl records during manufacturing and playback. It has become better known for its sales award program for singles and albums, which uses separate thresholds—gold, silver, platinum, and diamond—to gauge the commercial success of a single or album. In the years since the RIAA recognized the first “gold” singles and albums in 1958, these thresholds have occasionally changed. Certification levels are based on units sold; in the early 21st century the levels were 500,000 (gold), one million (platinum), two million (multi-platinum), and ten million (diamond). In ...