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Chart tunes in to Kiwi tastes

News release chart - 1 April 20, 2004

Chart tunes in to Kiwi tastes

Changes to the way the official music chart works will improve the ability to accurately track the tastes of Kiwi fans according to the industry.

From tomorrow (April 21, 2004), the raw retail sales data on which The New Zealand album and single music charts are based will be collected independently.

Previously the data was collected by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) from returns from retail stores. The charts were then also compiled by RIANZ.

"The new charts will better reflect genuine sales to actual consumers through recorded music retailers," says Terence O'Neill-Joyce, CEO of RIANZ.

"This new format provides complete transparency and removes any doubt surrounding the validity and legitimacy of the data."

Now the former Top 50 Album Chart becomes the Top 40 and is based on retail sales figures from around the country.

The Top 40 Singles Chart continues to be compiled based on a 50:50 split between singles sales figures and radio play information gathered by data collection agency Radioscope.

The inclusion of radio airplay began in September 1999, a move considered appropriate then because of the relatively low level of singles sales in New Zealand.

Many popular tracks aren't available for purchase as singles so it was decided to use radio airplay as part of the information gathering procedure.

A new set of rules and a members' code ensures consistency and legitimacy of the data. All heads of major record companies have signed the rules on behalf of their staff as have those retailers providing data.

The new agent is Paul Kennedy, editor of radio and Internet industry magazine The Median Strip and manager of Radioscope.

The chart agent will also conduct regular audits to ensure retail sales data matches distribution details provided by record companies.

The rules will be published on The Charts website at as will the weekly charts. The Charts will also be published on the Median Strip web site ( and the RIANZ site (

About RIANZ: The Recording Industry Association of New Zealand Inc (RIANZ) is a non-profit organisation representing major and independent record producers, distributors and recording artists throughout New Zealand. RIANZ works to protect the rights and interests of creative people involved in the New Zealand recording industry. It administers the anti-piracy brand BRN>BRNT designed to educate New Zealanders about the damage piracy does to the livelihoods of those who work in the music industry. Currently RIANZ has 47 full and affiliate members.

RIANZ is the New Zealand International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) national agency for encoding on all audio and audio-visual recordings and ensures copyright owners of sound recordings and recording artists are properly paid. RIANZ also administers the RAP fund - a scheme designed to support New Zealand artists and producers by ensuring licence fees collected are pass on to Rap fund participants. Over 300 artists and producers participate in the scheme. RIANZ is also responsible for producing the annual New Zealand Music Awards - The Tuis, and the production and distribution of Music credit vouchers for retail stores nation-wide.


Issued for the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand by Pead PR

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