Every artist dreams of obtaining at least one gold record in their career. This is seen as recognition, the crowning achievement of his or her work. It is a certification that honors the artist. You have probably heard of it but you don't really know what it is or how it is obtained. This article tells you everything you need to know about a gold record.

Origin of the gold disc certification

The various certifications in the field of music, and more specifically the gold record, came into being in the mid-twentieth century, in the early 1950s. In those days, to materialize the sales of their artists, record companies decided to give them awards. It was at this point that the term "golden record" began to spread in the music world. But to prevent these awards from being given out willy-nilly and to avoid abuse, in 1973 the production companies, meeting in associations, decided to harmonize the thresholds at which an artist could legitimately claim a record. From then on, the golden disc appeared as an award given to an artist to signify that an album or single had sold such a number of copies. It should be noted that each country has its own system for awarding these different certifications.

The number of albums or singles to be sold

As noted above, the associations representing the recording industries have set sales thresholds to be reached to obtain a certain certification and this is done on a country-by-country basis. For example, to obtain a gold record for an album in France, 50,000 copies must be sold, 100,000 for a platinum record and for a diamond record the artist must sell 500,000 copies of his album. As for a single, to obtain a gold disc, it is necessary to sell 75,000 copies, the platinum disc is equivalent to 150,000 sales and 250,000 sales to obtain a diamond disc. In the US, the numbers are much higher.

The certification bodies

The certification of albums and singles is regulated by organizations that certify them. In France, the SNEP and the UPFI do this. They delegate a chartered accountant who visits each record company at their request to carry out the checks. The SNEP has 48 members including the three giants Sony Music, Universal Music Group and Warner Music. UPFI is represented by members of independent labels and music distributors.