From gold records to gold MP3s

It might not be the same as having a big gold record on the wall, but the Recording Industry Association of America has issued its first gold, platinum, and multiplatinum certifications for digital downloads.

The first obvious winner? Outkast's "Hey Ya!" is the only multiplatinum single so far, with more than 400,000 downloads. Six songs qualified for platinum, or sales of 200,000 singles, and 45 titles got gold status, for selling 100,000 songs.

These awards "are a reflection of both the commitment of the entire music community to consumer-friendly legitimate digital services and fan appetite for high-quality music," RIAA Chief Executive Officer Mitch Bainwol said in a statement.

The awards are a sign of a maturing online music market, and a clear message that the business has a long way to go before reaching full mainstream status. The standards for reaching certification are much lower online, reflecting the fact that far fewer consumers buy music online, and that online sales remain just a small fraction of the overall music business.

News source: C|Net News.com

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