Last night’s edition of ABC’s Nightline had an interesting segment on David Broza, an Israeli singer-songwriter who’s taken to the bomb shelters in his homeland to perform for those seeking refuge from the current violence. (Though Nightline‘s Web site amply documents its investigative reporting on the current popularity of man purses, I can’t find any evidence of the Broza piece there. This piece from the Jerusalem Post covers much the same ground.)
Twice, the broadcast mentioned that Broza is a platinum-selling artist, and that factoid sounds damn impressive at first–moving a million units ain’t bad for an unrepentant folkie who writes most of his songs in Hebrew, not to mention somebody who (based on a scan of ProQuest archives) gets little publicity outside the Jewish press. But Nightline might’ve taken care to mention that what qualifies as a platinum record or single depends on where you are.
Platinum means a million record album sales in the U.S., but not anywhere else: it’s 300,000 in Britain, 100,000 in Canada, 80,000 in Italy. Israel? 40,000. David Broza’s debut, The Woman By My Side, is quadruple platinum in his homeland–but that wouldn’t make it one-time platinum in the Ukraine.