Gold and Platinum Awards for Music Downloads

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.


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?