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 Features: The Best of 2004 

The Best Charts of 2004

Top40-Charts presents the best and worst national charts of 2004 (according to our users votes).

The Best charts

1) Germany 11,9%: brilliant mix of culture and stability
According to Top40 Charts users the German Chart is the best for 2004. This is a chart which binds variety, stability, openness to foreign cultures and artistic quality in a unique way.

The findings between those who voted show that 31% of them prefer it for its stability. The appearance average on the German singles for the new songs is 4-7 new songs, having a life cycle inside the chart, around 4-7 weeks. This duration is satisfactory, in order for the public to watch, learn and select or reject the products (songs).

However, 14% voted "quality" and still 21% voted the "diversity" component. This is confirmed by the elements: within the German Singles Chart during 2004 all the musical categories/style (Jazz, Pop / Rock, R&B, Classical, Country, Film Music) were represented! It is the only Singles Chart in Western Europe that gives the opportunity to Labels which are producing 'World Music' or 'Latin Music' (genres) to have success and sales in one of the biggest markets worldwide.

The proportion of local production compared to foreign production in the German singles chart is 31%-37% (roughly as much as the Australians, for 2003). Moreover, songs appeared covering all music styles even difficult ones as Jazz, Country and Classical. The research between voters shows that the German Chart is selected by 21%, for its diversity; openness to foreign cultures/songs accounts for 17%, stability 31%, integration 17% and quality of songs 14%.

How did they achieve it? In the beginning of 2004, Media Control was the first Company which used a mathematical factor for having the same sales level for every NEW single. This means that 'under-valued' cd-singles can't break the Top20 easily if they haven't a minimum price for charting it. This movement gives the ability to EVERY Label to have the same possibilities for having future hits. This factor is now used by many chart-makers and is being more popular around the World for having one 'stable,' representative Chart environment and equal options for every artist/Label.

Moreover, the chart had few "Pop Stars" or "Pop Idol" appearances on the 10 first spots (concretely 3) when the world mean is 6 reality songs. It has corresponded to all worldwide hits and has a very satisfactory integration. Stability and quality have an absolutely positive impact and show to everyone out of Germany that the "players" of the German Music Market (Media Control, Labels, Media, Artists, etc.) collaborate harmoniously.

After all these, it isn't by accident that last year a lot of Germans sprang up through this chart and made worldwide success (examples are Sarah Connor, Die Artzie, Ramstein etc.) And it isn't a strange phenomenon anymore that many of them thank to 'National Success' and promotion on German Chart crossed the Atlantic and started having success at North America! The first 40 songs are free to watch, creating the biggest 'quantity of songs' market apart from Northern America and Japan. The other 60 spots are not free for the public (you must pay/buy the Chart if you want the Full Top 100) creating a very 'special interest' product; not only for the simple consumers but also for every professional.

2. Ireland Chart 8.3%: the demand and diversity
What a big surprise! The Irish have done so well this year; and why not? IRMA transformed the chart including more songs (now the Singles Chart is Top 50) and the project influences not only the local Music Industry: North Americans voted as the second best Chart in our voting procedure! Maybe Ireland is a small population country (3,5m.) but this year it exports Big Stars (like U2, Thrills, Damien Rice etc). Although the Irish watch the same TV/Media/Internet sites with the UK's population; they have a totally different consuming behaviour: the results of the Irish Music Chart are similar to the Canadian and German Charts according to "quality" and "diversity" terms.

According to the statistical data most songs on Irish Singles Chart (Top 50) are having a life cycle of 6-7 weeks. The stability is remarkable (the mean is 5-7 new songs/week) and its main qualification is the big variety: open to every genre and it has the biggest track/song number of Country/Blues/Orchestral/Jazz in Europe. except Germany!

The Irish Top50 is produced by the IRMA and it is a great tool for everyone: quality songs, domestic artist promotion, not many 'trashes' and big genres diversity which make it one of the leaders for this year across the World. If the Europeans ask for an 'English' view for modern music, this has been done perfectly this year (2004) by IRMA!

3. China 9%: the highest new entry Chart! (6,1)
The biggest market for everyone: People's Republic of China has opened the frontiers to global trade during the last decade. This year it was the biggest INVASION for the Music Industry and Labels, so it was more than expected that the Chart would be high in the Top40-Charts ranking. The Chart reflects the 'revolution' in the global context and not only in music.

The Chinese Chart is depending on airplays and it has big variety of styles/genres - including local bands/artists. The Chinese people have a great cultural background and learn very fast how to use the English-language songs. It is oriented to the North American music production and this is the reason that it has attracted the 7% of US voters in our poll.
During 2004 the Chinese Chart had all the known hits, spread amount of Modern/Nu-Rock, RnB and even country-style songs. It is not strange that many British artists like Dido, Robbie Williams, Daniel Beddingfield or Basement Jaxx took the advantages of big success and released cd-single in Chinese market. So, the high ranking (new entry this year) is not strange phenomenon. Music Labels and Artists are no less important than Manchester Utd. or Real Madrid when they tour China with similar commercial success.

The best of the best national charts for 2004 (review):

| Best Charts | | Problematic Charts | | Worst Chart | | Emerging Charts/Markets |

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