OutKast topped the first US digital music awards, presented by the Recording industry Association of America (RIAA).

They took a multi-platinum award yesterday in recognition of 400,000 downloads for 'Hey Ya!'. OutKast tracks, 'The Way You Move', and 'Roses' won platinum awards for downloads of over 200,000 each.

D12, Maroon 5 and Hoobastank also took platinum awards. Black Eyed Peas and Usher won multiple gold awards.

These awards were presented by the RIAA yesterday to mark the industry body's expansion of its award program to include digital downloads sold by legitimate online services, which was announced July 1.

Under the digital download program, certified sales of 100,000 singles earn a Gold award, while 200,000 downloaded singles win a Platinum award. Multi-platinum awards would start at 400,000 and increase in increments of 200,000 thereafter.

In related news, while US CD sales have been higher this year, the first few weeks of this quarter are showing a decline. According to figures supplied by Soundscan, record sales were down 5.9 per cent last week (at 676,000 units) when compared to the same week in 2003, part of a larger six-week trend.

Digital Music News states: "While CD sales have generally been experiencing a recovery, cumulative sales are now only 4.8 per cent higher than at the same point last year. That is several points lower than the running average for most of 2004. While the dip could be temporary, some economists predict that a slow economic recovery could impact overall holiday shopping levels".

This reflects declining consumer confidence in the US, a seven-month pattern, as consumers there worry about employment.