The gold disc: one million pop fans can't be wrong?

Osborne, Richard ORCID logoORCID: (2014) The gold disc: one million pop fans can't be wrong? In: L’état de l’industrie musicale = The state of the music industry. Sarafian, Victor and Findlay, Rosie, eds. Civilisations (13) . Presses de l'Université Toulouse 1 Capitole, Toulouse, pp. 159-178. ISBN 9782361700874. [Book Section]

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In this article I explore the record industry’s primary sales trophy: the gold disc, as well as its later derivatives platinum, diamond and silver discs. The gold disc sets a standard for which artists should aim. It has also been used a measure of commercial viability. And yet, despite the gold disc’s supposedly fixed targets, its standards can be deemed unfair. On the one hand, they have not remained the same: they have differed between territories and have shifted over time. On the other hand, their rigidity masks the diversity of record industry practices: they do not take into account the differing business models of record companies or the range of artist’s recording contracts. In this article I aim to uncover some of this diversity and how the gold disc helps to obfuscate it. Despite its basis in the mass reproduction of analogue recording formats, the gold disc continues to be awarded in the digital age. I shall explore ways in which the sales award has been adapted to this new environment, as well as its use as a symbol of continuity. Finally, I shall address the golden ideal that the sales award perpetuates and the impact this has had on artists and audiences.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Civilisations (Toulouse), ISSN 0758-2609. no 13
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Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts
Item ID: 14066
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Depositing User: Richard Osborne
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2015 14:50
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2023 14:25

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