The Recording Industry Association of America has officially announced that, as of Feb. 1, streaming will be recognized as points toward Gold and Platinum certifications.

In a more detailed sense, on-demand audio and video streams will be counted towards the RIAA program’s iconic benchmarks – 500,000 (Gold), 1 million (Platinum) and 2 million plus (multi-platinum) along with sales.

There is a minor caveat, though – one stream will not equal one sale.

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.

In short, this means that in order for a track to be certified as 1x Platinum, it needs 1.5 billion streams.

Regardless of how the points are tallied, it’s a huge step toward the recognition of streaming as an official outlet for artists to display their music.

The full release from RIAA can be read here.