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.
- 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
- 1996 to date: 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
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.
- 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.