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 Features: The Best of 2004 

Top40: The Best Charts of 2004

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

The Problematic Charts

1) Australian Singles chart: the fallen star (6,4%) Last year it was the Best Singles Chart on The Top40 Charts. The research results show that people abroad of Australia this year selected other charts as the 'best' and these are some of the reasons:

The Australian Singles Chart is suffering by the same illness like UK (OCC) did last year. It was influenced by the TV 'reality' songs: it included the second biggest number of this kind of music for 2004 - the leader in this field, is the Greek Chart. There is not some factor of 'stabilization' for the Label products, so easily under-value' songs can sell the double or triple than decent artists, thus creating a misbalanced environment for the decent/artistic side of music.
Another negative point is the absence of online sales: the Chart does not include data by online track sales although Australia is one of the innovation leaders and markets in this field.

2) USA Billboard (8%): problematic structure
For another year, Billboard Singles Chart suffers form the 'Airplay' factor. The findings show that a 76% believes that the biggest problem is its 'diversity'. It is true, people aren't against the RnB music style, but it cannot be THAT popular! After the launch of iTunes Apple store, Napster (etc.), people watch names like Madonna, Green Day, Michael McDonald or Killers, which appear on 'legal download' sales charts but not in the official.

Also, data provided by RIAA show that 25% of US consumers buy R&B, 27% Nu-Metal/Modern Rock/Rock, 15% Pop & Rock (Contemporary) and another 33% other styles (Country, Jazz etc).
So had the chart been representative, it had to respect the buyers' opinion. The R&B genre nowadays is the Pop Music but it isn't the only.

Also, there is confusion about the airplays, why US official chart is compiled with this way which responds to 90s, and how this chart represents the real market/consumers needs. The airplays were a great tool for the 90s, but now? There are many mistakes also in the way the Chart maker compiles the airplay data: If the Chart depends on airplays, then why Michael McDonald has not ever appeared on the Top 40 this year?
Is there any RnB Station which does not play him three or four times every night? Is there any other Contemporary Station which does not play him every day many-many times? One of the MOST played tracks of 2004 NEVER appeared in the ... 'airplay' Chart. (We use Michael McDonald as an example, there are at least 50 tracks this year with the same problem: they have been aired with full play list at US Radio Stations but they hadn't been charted).
Radio and findings by the legal downloads show that we live in a different era to keep alive the same 'airplay' Chart format as the 90s. The radio died as a chart-tool in US when Napster, Wal-Mart & Apple launched their online stores´┐Ż

How the people vote: If US President George W. Bush and Gerhard Schroeder (German Chancellor) believe that US & Germany face a 'political crisis' because of Iraq War, then they do not listen to music!
People from Germany voted Billboard Chart (21% of the German Voters) as the 'Best' Chart. Yes, it is true; the music culture unites the people and brings them closer than the 'political' analysis does. The Labels know it by empirical facts and that's why every US Label is beginning the promotion for its artists from the German Market at Europe. Also another myth for French People is falling down: 38% of French voted Billboard Chart as the 'Best'.
And the question is: then, where the Billboard Chart lacks? Who do not prefer it?
The 'Iraq Coalition' has bad results in music terms: UK & Australian people gave a very small percentage of their favourite vote to Billboard. So did the Canadians, Mexicans, Russians, Indians and Japanese.
According to the IP examination the biggest rejection percentage has come from the Middle East Voters: people from Egypt, Iran, and Syria etc voted as the 'Worst Chart' the US Billboard Chart.
It is obvious that Billboard has many problems in the way it ranks the tracks (airplays, not actual sales, not online sales), but especially this year, No 8 position is the price for the USA Foreign Policy.

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

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

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