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The Irish Charts - All there is to know
  1. Pre-1992

    Before the introduction of over-the-counter sales tracking, the Irish Charts were compiled from record company ship-out statistics. In other words, the charts were based on the supply to retail rather than the sale to the consumer.

  2. 1992-1996: Gallup

    In 1992 IFPI (Ireland) and IRMA, awarded a new Charts Contract to Gallup. For the first time in Ireland the Official Singles and Albums Charts would be based on consumer sales.

    Gallup installed customised Epson PX-4 devices in a sample of 60 record shops, including HMV, Virgin, Tower, Golden Discs and Independents. The Epson is a simple sales collection unit equipped with a bar-code scanner and an integral modem which is connected to the shop's telephone line. Each time a sale is made, the scanner is passed over the bar-code, which is then stored in the Epson. Sales data is collected overnight by a PC which auto-dials the relevant telephone numbers and transfers the sales data to a processing computer.

  3. 1996 to date: Chart-Track

    ChartTrackIn 1996 Chart-Track was formed as a result of a management buy-out from Gallup, with the support of IRMA.

    With the development of retail technology, Electronic Point of Sale (EPoS) systems enable the Irish Charts to be based on more accurate sales information: EpoS systems are a step ahead of Epsons in terms of technology, linking scanning to the computerised till. Every time a sale is made in-store, the item is scanned, picking up the price and product information from the unique bar-code, and each till is equipped with a modem to enable electronic data transmission.

    Chart-Track collects EPoS data from HMV, Virgin, Tower, Golden Discs, Tesco, Xtravision, Roxy Records, Zhivago, Heartbeat City and Heatons on a daily basis, thus ensuring that every sale from their stores contributes to the Irish Charts.

    Until recently EPoS systems have been prohibitively expensive for the Independent sector. However, prices are falling and Chart-Track now collects EPoS sales data from over 40 Independent retailers.

    In total, Chart-Track collects sales data from over 380 stores each week, covering 80% of retail sales in the Irish Republic.

  4. Chart Services

    Midweek Charts are produced every day, enabling record companies and retailers to track sales trends throughout the week.

    Weekly Reports are produced every Friday lunchtime, based on the previous 7 days' sales, and the Singles, Albums and Video Charts are e-mailed to IRMA members and key media. Clients can access unit sales, revenues, average prices, format breakdowns, regional sales and daily sales for all the top-selling titles each week.

    Retailer Reports are also produced on Fridays for participating retailers, showing each outlet's sales performance and, in the case of multiple chains, retail market share performance.

    Quarterly Reports are produced at the end of March, June, September and December, containing Market Profiles, Charts and Company Market Shares for the preceding 13-week period. An Annual report is produced at the end of each year.

    Ad-Hoc Reports are produced on request, and are available to IRMA members and participating retailers.
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