Recording Industry Association of America

The Recording Industry Association of America ( RIAA - Association of the music industry in the U.S.) is a community of interest, the companies represented in the music industry in the U.S.. The RIAA is working with the in Germany and worldwide active Association International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI ).

The Association grants awards for record sales - for example, the gold record - and represents the rights of the music industry.

RIAA curve

On the shellac record all frequencies were recorded at the same volume. The RIAA was founded in 1952 to create a unified technical standard for the record, which made ​​it possible to store more music on a disk and to reduce the noise and increase the signal-to- noise ratio. This standard, often called ' RIAA curve ' works like this: When editing a record is cut low and high frequencies with different amplitudes changed in the plate. Accordingly, the depths are attenuated and thereby raised the treble. If you do not perform this procedure, the bass would require a larger groove spacing due to their strong deflection. This would have a shortened season result. In addition, would the height, can not be faithfully reproduced because of the insufficient dynamics of the pickup; low altitudes would perish in the needle groove wall noise.

To bring the altered during the recording frequency response ( Emphasis) the record back into the original form, the process in reproduction must be repeated in mirror image as a de-emphasis. It is said that the frequency response is equalized.


The RIAA has come through the global conflicts with file sharing in the media. It advocates, among others for the rights of the four major record labels (Sony BMG Music Entertainment, EMI Group, Universal Music Group and Warner ), and thus ( in their view ) for their artists. Critics accuse the RIAA to be able to by a kind of cartel set prices for CDs. In addition, they do not extract the information of CD sales as the market researchers: Normally, the number of CDs that go over the counter, taken to represent the plate purchases. However, the RIAA used the order numbers of the dealers for their statistics. This leads to a difference between the two numbers, such as when dealers try for cost reasons, to keep their inventories low, but still have a lot on the shelves and in stock and reorder accordingly less.

Under pressure from the RIAA in America was a new law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.


The RIAA awards prizes for the delivery of albums and singles in the United States over the following number:

  • 500,000 units: Gold album
  • 1,000,000 copies: Platinum Album
  • 10,000,000 copies: Diamond album

The association makes no current sales charts. This task is performed by the Billboard magazine.

Artist with the most Platinum Awards (Album)

These artists have the most platinum albums (as of 6 December 2010).

Artist with the most Platinum Awards ( Single)

These artists have the most gold and platinum singles.

The successful artists

These artists have sold a total in the U.S. on most albums (as of 14 March 2012 ).

These artists have a total of the world's most albums sold (as of 31 July 2006).

The most successful albums

These albums are the most successful in the U.S. (Updated: November 18, 2009).