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Irish Singles Chart Historic Change
By Mi2N
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On 1st October 1962, the very first Irish Singles Chart was published. Elvis Presley was the first artist to chart at number one in Ireland with She's Not You a 7'' vinyl release. Since then the chart has undergone many changes and the introduction of computerised sale terminals for retail in the early '90s led to the present position where the Irish chart is recognised as the most accurate in the world.

And now from 30th June, the biggest change in the history of the Top 50 Singles Chart will take place. The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) has announced that Digital Downloads will now be eligible for the Irish Charts, the original Top 50 singles chart will include all tracks from conventional CD sales plus any download track (single) purchased through legitimate sites. The results of the brand new Official Irish Chart will be broadcast on Friday 7th July 2006.

The charts are currently made up from CD sales in nearly 400 stores around the country. However from 1st July, online sales from Apple iTunes, Eircom Music Club, Mycokemusic, Vodafone, Sony Connect, Bleep, Wippit and easyMusic will also be used to make up the chart.

IRMA has been monitoring download track sales for the last three months prior to going live with the new charts. At present, sales for downloads in Ireland account for approx. 14% of all music sales. However when the new style charts are introduced it is expected they will follow the trend in the UK where sales of digital downloads have more than tripled in the last year and now account for over 50% of the singles market.

The popularity of the download market is highlighted by the massive hit 'Crazy' by Gnarls Barkley, which went straight to #1 in the UK on digital sales alone. This release amassed an incredible 40,000 sales in its first week.

"We have always had the most accurate chart in the world, representing over 90 per cent of weekly sales through nearly 400 stores. Consumer purchasing is changing dramatically and we intend to keep our chart fresh by introducing downloads to mirror this changing market place." Dick Doyle, Director General IRMA.

The brand new Official Irish Chart will be officially launched on Friday 30th June and the results of the very first download chart will be broadcast and published on Friday 7th July, the start of the third quarter 2006.

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