TuneCore rolls out new awards to compete with RIAA’s gold, platinum

[27 February 2009]

By Glenn Gamboa

Newsday (MCT)

Move over, gold and platinum album awards. Here come the black, silver and white awards for sales of Internet downloads.

Starting next month, TuneCore - the Brooklyn-based music distribution service that allows independent artists to sell their songs on iTunes, eMusic, Amazon.com and other Internet retailers - will start handing out sales awards of its own to celebrate the successes of the new business model.

Nine Inch Nails will receive the first black TuneCore award for selling more than 500,000 songs from its “Ghosts I-IV” album set at Internet retailers.

However, the recipients of the silver awards (for 250,000 download sales) and white awards (for 100,000 sales) are a mix of music veterans and newcomers, who are achieving their sales with little or no outside support. What makes artists so excited about TuneCore distribution is that they simply pay a flat, onetime fee to the company for the access to sell on the Internet retail sites and then all the money that comes in afterwards belongs to them –_ instead of the previous model where record companies would get a percentage, generally a large one, of every sale.

The first silver TuneCore award winners include hitmakers Jay-Z, for the re-release of his “Reasonable Doubt” album, and Jason Mraz, for his live album “Jason Mraz Live and Acoustic 2001.” But they also include the unusual soundtrack to “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” and Kelly’s novelty hit and YouTube sensation “Shoes.”

The first white TuneCore award winners include Public Enemy’s album “How You Sell Soul To a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul?” and Secondhand Serenade’s single “Awake.”

BLACK (More than 500,000 songs sold)
Nine Inch Nails, “Ghosts I-IV”

SILVER (More than 250,000 songs sold)
Josh Kelley, “Special Company”
Kelly, “Shoes”
Various Artists, “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog”
Jay-Z, “Reasonable Doubt”
Katt Willams, “Pimp Chronicles Pt. 1”
Jason Mraz, “Jason Mraz Live & Acoustic 2001”
Ziggy Marley, “Love Is My Religion”

WHITE (More than 100,000 songs sold)
Meiko, “Meiko”
Various Artists, “Halloween Scream Themes / Horror Movie Music With Blood Curdling Sound FX”
Eric Hutchinson, “Sounds Like This”
Lecrae, “Rebel”
Zac Brown Band, “Chicken Fried”
Clear Voyage, “The Sessions”
Jason Reeves, “The Magnificent Adventures of Heartache”
Secondhand Serenade, “Awake”
Perseverance, “What Took So Long…”
DJ Laz Ft. Flo Rida & Casely, “Move Shake Drop Remix”
MGMT, “Time To Pretend EP”
Various Artists, “The Orange Box (Original Soundtrack)”
Jeffree Star, “Plastic Surgery Slumber Party EP”
Public Enemy, “How You Sell Soul To a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul?”
116 Clique, “13 Letters”
Slade, “Greatest Hits”
Trip Lee, “20/20”
Sky Eats Airplane, “Everything Perfect On the Wrong Day”

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/article/71010-tunecore-rolls-out-new-awards-to-compete-with-riaas-gold-platinum/