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Michael Jackson's "Thriller" Goes 32-Times Platinum; Streams to Be Included in RIAA Certifications

Michael Jackson's landmark album Thriller has been boosted to 32-times Platinum by the RIAA, indicating sales of 32 million or more in the U.S.

The album had been awarded 30-times Platinum back in mid-December. Two additional awards were given today (February 1).

That moves Thriller three awards (up to three million copies) ahead of the second biggest seller in U.S. history, the Eagles' Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 although it is possibile, with the death of Glenn Frey, that the Eagles' set could move up to 30-times Platinum in the near future.

Third place on the all-time list, tied at 23-times Platinum, is Billy Joel's Greatest Hits Volume 1 & 2, Led Zeppelin's Led Zeppelin IV and Pink Floyd's The Wall.

The RIAA has also announced that they will be adding audio and video streams into their calculations for Gold and Platinum certifications.

The organization said in a statement "After a comprehensive analysis of a variety of factors, including streaming and download consumption patterns and historical impact on the program, and also consultation with a myriad of industry colleagues, 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 download to reflect streaming’s enormous growth in the two plus years since that ratio was set."

Cary Sherman, chairman and CEO of the RIAA, has placed streaming as the fourth step in the evolution of recorded music consumption. "For nearly six decades, whether it’s vinyl, CDs, downloads or now streams, the Gold & Platinum Program has adapted to recognize the benchmarks of success in an evolving music marketplace."

Recent certifications for veteran artists:

Platinum Single (1,000,000 units per certificate)
  • Thriller - Michael Jackson (32x Platinum)
  • Southern Girl - Tim McGraw
Gold Single (500,000 units)
  • In the Air Tonight - Phil Collins (3x Platinum)
  • Diamond Rings and Old Bar Stools - Tim McGraw