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Westlife take first No 1 spot in the new UK 'Official Download' Chart

LONDON, UK (BPI press release) - Westlife have made music history by scoring the first Number One in the new Official UK Download Chart.

Westlife's single, 'Flying Without Wings (Live)' beat off strong competition from Maroon 5 and Shapeshifters, and new exclusive tracks from Muse and Blazin' Squad to take the first number one slot.
The track was made available exclusively online, and fans logged on and downloaded it in their thousands to help the band secure a place in chart history.

After an introduction from Edith Bowman, BPI Chairman Peter Jamieson (see below for Peter Jamieson's address) and Coca-Cola Music's Rafael McDonnell, there were performances from Newport rappers The Goldie Lookin' Chain and Har Mar Superstar.

The first number one was revealed last night at 7pm on Radio One, during the Scott Mills Show.
The countdown was also broadcast at an exclusive party in London's Marquee Club held by the Official Charts Company and 'Coca-Cola' to celebrate the launch of the revolutionary Chart.

The First Official Download Top 10
1 Flying without wings (Live)/ Westlife
2 Blazin' day Blazin'/ Squad
3 She will be loved/ Maroon 5
4 Lola's theme/ Shapeshifters
5 American idiot/ Green Day
6 This love/ Maroon 5
7 Dry your eyes (Radio Edit)/ Streets
8 Bedshaped/ Keane
9 Laura/ Scissor Sisters
10 Apocalypse please/ Muse

The Official UK Download Chart is compiled on the basis of actual sales of music tracks from leading legal download sites in the UK including mycokemusic.com, msn.co.uk, hmv.co.uk, Tiscali.co.uk, iTunes, Napster.co.uk, bignoisemusic.com, 7 Digital Media and DX3 (incorporating the Woolworths group and Recordstore.co.uk).
Over the past six months legal downloading in the UK has seen a massive increase, with over 2 million legal downloads sold since January, when mycokemusic.com launched as the first legal branded music download site, closely followed by Napster in May.

The rate of growth of in the download market is remarkable. In the first three months of this year they were running at around 100,000 tracks a month, last month they hit 500,000 a month and the number continues to grow. Over 400,000 individual tracks are available for download in the UK.

The Official UK Download Chart will be counted down weekly in the Scott Mills show on Radio 1, at 6pm. The Official Charts Company (OCC) will also be licensing the chart to many of the key media partners that already carry the Official Singles and Albums Charts.

BPI Chairman Peter Jamieson "September 1 2004 will go down as an historic date in the history of the UK recording industry. The launch of the Official UK Download Chart will provide a real promotional focus for the emerging download market and will serve to drive consumer interest even higher."

OCC Charts Director Omar Maskatiya "The launch of the download chart comes 52 years after the launch of the first UK music chart. It reflects the commitment of the OCC to capture music sales wherever and however they take place."

Tony Wadsworth Chairman & CEO of EMI Music UK & Ireland "The launch of the official download chart brings extra focus to a legal digital download marketplace that is already growing at an extremely encouraging rate in the UK. Now a hit can be on line as well as on a disc. "

Lucian Grainge, chairman Universal Music UK. "This is a significant launch for the industry. Music fans who want to discover new music online now have legitimate alternatives to illegal filesharing; the Download Chart will add momentum to this growing market."

Rafael McDonnell, 'Coca-Cola' Music Spokesperson, Coca-Cola Great Britain says: "We were not surprised to see Westlife take the first number one in the new Chart. Since coming into the market, mycokemusic.com has broadened the age profile of downloading in the UK with by attracting a larger number of under 30s who are more likely to download music and make sure that their favourites bands and artists make the top spot."

Carolyne LaSala, Manager iTunes Europe
"I'm very excited about seeing the first official download chart tomorrow - I think it's a great jump in legitimizing digital music, and will be a key indicator for the industry going forward!"

Leanne Sharman, VP & General Manager, Napster UK
"Napster are proud to be amongst the first key contributors to the new Official UK Download Chart. The launch of an industry endorsed official chart signifies a new era for record labels and online music services in the UK and reflects the significant impact services such as Napster have made on the way music fans buy and listen to music. Napster is committed to supporting the music industry's new chart highlighting the nations favourite downloads"

Peter Jamieson's address: "I'm sure it's going to be a great party - and I know it's going to be a great chart. 52 years ago Percy Dickins famously created the first UK hit parade for singles. In the ensuing years we've seen a lot of change in formats but no real changes to the chart.

Downloads are different. They demand change. This chart has been a year in the making. We are confident that not only will this chart stimulate the consumer, the industry and the media - it will stimulate musical creativity where recorded music is no longer restricted by physical formats, and we believe it will stimulate the physical singles market as well.

We don't want to replace physical sales but we do want to replace illegal downloads where young music lovers foray at their peril into unregulated and murky areas of the internet and effectively steal from the creators and investors in music.

We are here tonight because of the courage shown and investments made by the rapidly increasing numbers of operators of legitimate download music sites. We are here tonight because of the hard work put in by the new media experts of record labels over months and years.

Finally we are here tonight because The Official Charts Company has taken all of its knowledge and experience of creating the most accurate, up-to-the-minute music charts and applied it to the new world of downloads. It is this that has got us to where we are - at the exciting launch of download chart no. 1.
I thank them all for their hard work and congratulate the OCC on this important day in their history."






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