2016 was an exciting year for Music Canada’s Gold/Platinum Certification Program. On September 12, Music Canada, the non-profit trade organization founded in 1964 that promotes the interests of its members as well as the record labels, certifying artists for their high sales, unveiled the new Single Award, which accepts on-demand subscription service streams for the first time in the program’s history. The award replaces the Digital Download and CD Single awards, combining the digital and physical track sales with on-demand streams at a rate of 150:1. Brett Kissel was presented with the first Single Award at the 2016 CCMA Awards in London, ON, when he was surprised on stage with a plaque for “Airwaves.”
As a result of the new guidelines, the Canadian music industry experienced a drastic increase in the total number of track certifications from 2015. Combining 2016’s Digital Download and Single awards, there were 495 track certifications in 2016 – a 75% increase from the 283 track certifications in 2015. 119 track certifications were from Canadian artists, a 72% increase from the 69 Canadian track certifications in 2015.
— Gold/Platinum Canada (@GoldPlatCA) December 7, 2016
As well, a new generation of artists received their first Canadian certifications, including A Thousand Horses, Alan Walker, Alx Veliz, Andy Grammer, Chris Lane, D.R.A.M., Dan + Shay, Flume, Frenship, Gnash, Jon Pardi, Jonas Blue, Kelsea Ballerini, Kiiara, Klingande, Maren Morris, Miike Snow, Mike Perry, Niall Horan, Snakehips, Sonreal, Tinashe, Tory Lanez, Zara Larsson, Zay Hilfigerrr & Zayion Mccall, and Zeds Dead.
Mark Ronson had the highest certified track of 2016 with the Diamond certification of his Bruno Mars collaboration “Uptown Funk.” Adele‘s track “Someone Like You,” along with Pharell Williams‘ “Happy” and Hozier‘s “Take Me To Church” received the second highest certifications at 8X Platinum. The highest Canadian track certifications belonged to Justin Bieber with his tracks “Love Yourself” and “Sorry” reaching 7X Platinum.
The highest certification for a track released in 2016 belongs to Sia for “Cheap Thrills.” The Chainsmokers landed two Six Times Platinum certifications for their 2016 tracks “Closer” and “Don’t Let Me Down”. Country singer Blake Shelton earned seven Gold certifications, the most of any artist in 2016.
There were 75 album certifications in 2016, down from 133 in 2015. 26 of these album certifications were from Canadian artists, down from 51 in 2015.
Adele had the highest certified album with the Diamond certification of 25, while Justin Bieber‘s Purpose was the highest certified Canadian album at Quadruple Platinum. Celine Dion‘s Double Platinum certification for Encore un soir was the highest certification for an album, both international and Canadian, released in 2016. Drake‘s Views, 2 Freres’ Nouse autres, and Michael Buble’s Nobody But Me were the second highest Canadian album certifications, each earning Platinum status.
Canadian artist Danny Fernandes received the final Physical Single certification for his “Dear Life” CD single. 5000 physical CD singles were sold across National Basketball League of Canada arenas benefiting World Vision Canada/Artist Collective. Francophone artist Yoan‘s live concert DVD Live Au Centre Videotron was the only video released in 2016 to be certified, and it earned a Platinum certification.