Notes From the Net

RIAA TO CERTIFY MUSIC DOWNLOADS The RIAA announced that it will award Gold, Platinum and multi-Platinum certificates to digital downloads from legit online
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RIAA TO CERTIFY MUSIC DOWNLOADS

The RIAA announced that it will award Gold, Platinum and multi-Platinum certificates to digital downloads from legit online services. Sales of 100,000 will receive the Gold award, sales doubling that will receive Platinum status and multi-Platinum will be awarded to sales of 400,000 and increase in increments of 200,000. Current certificate requirements for singles and albums are 500,000 for Gold, 1 million for Platinum and 2 million for multi-Platinum.

NAPSTER FINDS RETAILER ITS BEST BET

Roxio's Napster has signed a multiyear agreement with Best Buy in which the retailer will promote Napster as its leading digital music service through in-store marketing activities and broadcast/print/online advertising. Best Buy will also market a co-branded version of Napster, which will be available at www.bestbuy.com. Best Buy will receive Roxio stock worth up to $10 million. This announcement comes a year after Best Buy announced, along with Hastings Entertainment, Tower Records, Trans World Entertainment, Virgin Entertainment and Wherehouse Music, the industry's first retailer-driven digital music consortium, dubbed Echo (www.echo.com). In early June 2004, these retailers pulled the plug on Echo, citing mounting development costs, numerous rivals offering bargain prices and minimum sales. Best Buy VP Scott Young told CNET, “We want to work with the leading services that serve our customers' needs. It didn't make sense to us in the near term to focus on [one thing; i.e., Echo] and say that's the answer.”

FESTIVAL EXPRESS RETURNS — IN NET FORM

Launched for THINKFilm's upcoming film, Festival Express, www.festivalexpress.com features some never-before-seen film footage, exclusive clips, theatrical trailer and release information. Starring Janis Joplin, The Band and the Grateful Dead in the 1970s, the movie documents the multiband, multi-day festival as filmed by Peter Biziou and Bob Fiore.

G-MAN USES P2P TO LAUNCH CAREER

Rather than go through the major-label network to establish a career, G-Man (pictured) offered his first album for free via www.gmanmusic.com and sent DJs (including Matt Forger) individual tracks to remix through a P2P file-sharing relationship. The result? He is now signed to indie label Delvian Records, all of his albums are available on Apple's iTunes, his catalog is administered by Janssongs.com and he has opened his own company: G-Man Music Radical Radio, in which he creates songs, radio spots and music for film, TV and games. “The ‘give-it-away’ approach may be a cool new way of starting a career,” G-Man said. “And some people say this method puts me in the vanguard of changes that are overwhelming the music industry — perhaps it's both. I think that the music business as we know it is splintering into a million shards and it is being built up into something new right before our eyes.”

Send Your “Current” News to Sarah Benzuly at sbenzuly@primediabusiness.com.