Article

Top 10 Radio Certifications

This article provides an overview of the different radio certifications available and highlights the top certifications for broadcasters.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 14 min read

Certifications are important for a radio in the job market because they demonstrate a level of knowledge, skill, and experience that employers look for when hiring. Certified professionals have higher levels of expertise and can often command higher salaries than non-certified professionals. Certification also gives employers assurance that the professional is knowledgeable about the industry standards and practices, as well as current trends. Certifications can also provide recognition from organizations or associations within the radio field, which can help to boost an individual’s reputation in the industry. In addition, certifications can open up new career opportunities and provide access to resources that may not be available to non-certified individuals.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Radios and explains how they can help to further a radio's career.

What are Radio Certifications?

Radio certification is the process of having a record or single certified by a radio industry organization, such as RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). This certification serves as an official recognition that a song has achieved a certain level of airplay on radio stations across the country. It can be used to indicate the success of an artist’s music, as well as to help promote their work.

The higher the number of spins a song gets on radio stations, the more likely it is to be certified. Once a song is certified, it can be used to help boost its chances for chart success and commercial success. It also helps establish an artist’s reputation in the music industry and can increase their visibility in other media, such as television and online streaming services. Radio certification can also be used to secure additional endorsements and sponsorships from various companies, which can help further an artist’s career.

Pro Tip: When obtaining radio certification, make sure to research all applicable regulations and laws that may apply in your area. Additionally, take advantage of online resources to ensure you understand the process completely before attempting to certify your radios.

Related: What does a Radio do?

Top 10 Radio Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Radios today.

1. Gold Certification (500,000 units sold)

Gold Certification is an award given by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to recognize albums and singles that have sold 500,000 copies or more. It is a way for the music industry to recognize the success of a particular artist or album.

To get Gold Certification, an artist must submit their sales information to the RIAA. This includes physical sales, digital downloads, and streaming services. Once all of the data has been submitted and verified, the RIAA will then issue a Gold Certification to the artist or album.

The process can take anywhere from several weeks to several months depending on how quickly the data can be verified. There is no cost associated with getting Gold Certification as it is an honor bestowed upon artists for their success in selling records.

2. Platinum Certification (1 million units sold)

Platinum certification is a designation given to music recordings that have sold over 1 million units in the United States. This includes physical and digital sales, as well as streaming equivalent units (SEUs). To receive Platinum certification, an artist must submit their album or single to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and have it certified by the organization. It typically takes 6-8 weeks for an album or single to be certified, depending on the number of submissions received.

In order to receive Platinum certification, an artist must pay a fee to the RIAA. The cost of this fee varies depending on the type of release being submitted, but generally ranges from $2,000-$3,000 per submission. Additionally, there are additional fees if an artist wants their release to be eligible for Gold or Platinum status in other countries outside of the United States.

Once a release has been certified as Platinum by the RIAA, it will be marked with a special plaque that can be displayed on websites and promotional materials. This plaque serves as proof that an artist’s work has achieved commercial success and is recognized by industry professionals.

3. Multi-Platinum Certification (2 million units sold)

Multi-Platinum certification is a recognition given to an artist or group for selling more than two million copies of an album, single, or music video. It is one of the highest certifications in the music industry and can take several years to achieve.

To get Multi-Platinum certification, artists must submit sales records to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The RIAA then verifies that all sales are legitimate and meets their criteria for certification. This process can take several months depending on the size of the project.

There is no cost associated with getting Multi-Platinum certification as it is free to apply. However, artists may need to pay for marketing campaigns, promotional materials, and other costs associated with promoting their music in order to reach this level of success.

4. Diamond Certification (10 million units sold)

Diamond Certification is a milestone that is achieved by an artist or group when their album or single has sold over 10 million units. It is the highest level of certification awarded by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The certification process usually takes between 6-8 weeks, depending on how quickly the RIAA can verify sales figures. To get Diamond Certification, the artist or group must submit a request to the RIAA along with documentation of sales figures and other relevant information. The cost for Diamond Certification varies depending on the type of release, but it typically ranges from $2,500 to $5,000.

5. Double Platinum Certification (2 million digital downloads)

Double Platinum Certification is an award given to a music artist or group for having sold two million digital downloads. It is an honor that recognizes the success of a song, album, or artist in the digital music market.

It typically takes anywhere from three months to one year to achieve Double Platinum Certification. To get it, an artist must have two million digital downloads of their music. This includes purchases and streams from services such as iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, and other streaming platforms.

Double Platinum Certification does not cost anything; however, it does require a lot of hard work and dedication on the part of the artist or group. The artist must promote their music through various channels such as radio play, live performances, and online marketing campaigns in order to reach the necessary download numbers. Additionally, they must also ensure that their music is available on all major digital platforms so that fans can access it easily.

6. Triple Platinum Certification (3 million digital downloads)

Triple Platinum Certification is a designation given by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to recognize digital sales of 3 million downloads or streams of a single song. It is the highest level of certification for digital singles and albums, and it typically takes several years for an artist to reach this milestone.

To get Triple Platinum Certification, an artist must accumulate 3 million certified units in the United States. A unit is defined as one paid download or 150 on-demand audio and/or video streams. An artist’s record label must apply for certification with the RIAA, which will then review the data provided and certify the release if it meets the criteria.

The cost to apply for Triple Platinum Certification varies depending on the record label. Generally speaking, applying for certification can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars in fees.

7. Quadruple Platinum Certification (4 million digital downloads)

Quadruple Platinum Certification is a recognition that an artist or group has achieved 4 million digital downloads of their music. It is awarded by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and signifies that the artist or group has achieved a high level of success in terms of digital sales.

It usually takes around 6-12 months for an artist or group to achieve Quadruple Platinum Certification, depending on the number of digital downloads they have achieved. To get it, an artist or group must reach 4 million certified digital downloads from all eligible sources (including streaming services). The RIAA will then issue a certificate to recognize the achievement.

It does not cost anything to receive Quadruple Platinum Certification; however, artists and groups may need to pay fees associated with having their music distributed digitally.

8. Quintuple Platinum Certification (5 million digital downloads)

Quintuple Platinum Certification is an award given to a digital download that has achieved 5 million downloads. It is awarded by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and is one of the highest certifications available. It typically takes several months to achieve this certification, depending on the popularity of the song or album.

To achieve Quintuple Platinum Certification, an artist must have sold at least 5 million digital downloads, which includes both single tracks and full albums. The RIAA counts each individual download as one unit, so if a person purchases an album with 10 songs on it, that will count as 10 units towards the total number of downloads needed for certification. The downloads can come from any online music store such as iTunes or Amazon Music, or streaming services such as Spotify or Apple Music.

The cost for achieving Quintuple Platinum Certification varies depending on the artist's label and other factors. Generally speaking, labels will cover most of the costs associated with achieving certification, such as promotional campaigns and marketing efforts. However, some artists may choose to pay for their own promotion in order to get certified faster.

9. Sextuple Platinum Certification (6 million digital downloads)

Sextuple Platinum Certification is a certification awarded by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to recognize an artist's success in digital music sales. It is the highest certification level available from the RIAA and signifies that an artist has sold 6 million digital downloads of a single track or album. This includes both physical and digital sales, as well as streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music.

It typically takes several years for an artist to reach Sextuple Platinum Certification. To achieve this certification, an artist must accumulate 6 million digital downloads of one track or album across all platforms. This includes purchases made through online stores such as iTunes and Amazon, as well as streams from streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music.

There is no cost associated with achieving Sextuple Platinum Certification; however, it does require significant effort on the part of the artist or their team to promote their music and ensure that it reaches a wide audience. Additionally, artists must ensure that they are properly tracking their digital sales in order to be eligible for certification. The RIAA also requires that artists submit proof of their sales in order to be considered for certification.

10. Septuple Platinum Certification (7 million digital downloads)

Septuple Platinum Certification (7 million digital downloads) is a certification awarded by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to recognize an artist or group for achieving seven million certified digital downloads. This certification is given when an artist has sold seven million copies of their single or album in the United States, either through physical sales or digital downloads.

It typically takes several years for an artist to reach this level of success and the process begins with a single being released. The single must then be purchased or downloaded seven million times in order to qualify for Septuple Platinum Certification. It is important to note that streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube are not counted towards this certification as they are considered “on-demand” services and not purchases.

There is no cost associated with obtaining Septuple Platinum Certification; however, it does require significant promotion and marketing efforts on behalf of the artist or group in order to reach this level of success. Additionally, artists must ensure that their music is available on all major digital platforms so that fans can easily purchase or download their songs.

Do You Really Need a Radio Certificate?

Yes, you do need a radio certificate in order to operate a radio or any other type of communication device. A radio certificate is a document that proves that an individual has been trained and certified in the safe operation of radios, which are essential for communication between individuals in various settings. Radio certificates are required by many organizations and agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Having a radio certificate is important for many reasons. First, it ensures that those operating radios have the necessary skills and knowledge to do so safely. It also sets standards for operators to follow, ensuring that their use of radios does not interfere with other users’ transmissions or cause interference with other devices. Finally, it helps protect users from potential legal action related to improper use of radios.

In addition to providing proof of training, having a radio certificate can help you obtain better job opportunities or advance your career prospects. Many employers look for people who have received proper training in the use of radios, so having a certificate can make you stand out from the competition. Furthermore, employers may be more willing to hire someone who has taken the time to get certified because they know this person will be able to handle the job effectively and responsibly.

Overall, obtaining a radio certificate is an important step for anyone interested in operating communications equipment. It provides proof of training and helps ensure safety when using radios as well as helping boost your resume and career prospects. Therefore, if you plan on using any type of communications equipment, having a valid radio certificate is absolutely essential!

Related: Radio Resume Examples

FAQs About Radio Certifications

1. What is a radio certification?

A radio certification is an official recognition from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) that certifies a certain level of commercial success for a specific song or album. It is based on the amount of sales and/or streams achieved in the United States.

2. How many different types of radio certifications are there?

There are four levels of certifications - Gold, Platinum, Multi-Platinum, and Diamond.

3. How do I get my music certified?

You must submit your music to the RIAA for review and approval in order to be eligible for certification. The criteria for eligibility includes total sales and/or streams achieved in the United States.

4. How long does it take to receive a certification?

It can take up to 8 weeks after submission to receive your certification status from the RIAA.

5. What are some benefits of achieving radio certifications?

Having your music certified by the RIAA provides you with industry recognition, credibility, and proof that you have achieved a certain level of commercial success with your music releases in the United States market. It also gives you access to exclusive promotional opportunities through major media outlets and streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music.