The US record industry is to further embrace online music sales by giving Gold and Platinum awards to top-selling artists. Musicians and acts selling 100,000 downloads from a licensed online music store will get a Silver Award, those enjoying 200,000 sales will get a Platinum Award. Multiple-platinum awards will be granted to sales of 400,000 and above.
Currently, artists receive a silver disc for 500,000 CDs sold, and platinum for 1 million sold. As legal music downloads increase, the RIAA may have to revise its new digital eligibility numbers as more and more tracks are sold. The Diamond award was introduced in 1999 for sales of 10 million CDs and above – perhaps they will launch a download version of this for 1 million downloads.
The new awards program launches in late August. “This is a gratifying milestone in the evolution of legitimate digital music services,” said Mitch Bainwol, chairman and CEO of the RIAA. “The fact that the marketplace has already advanced this far, and artists have attained this level of success, speaks volumes.”
The original award programme began in 1958, with Platinum discs first appearing in 1976. So the first Platinum disc was obviously a disco tune then.