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Thursday, July 2, 1998 Published at 10:21 GMT 11:21 UK


No chance at No 1

Fans will be able to log on to buy the band's latest

The band Rialto is about to become the first established British act to release a single exclusively on the Internet. They also are the first established British act to have no chance of hitting No 1.

That's the price of pioneering. Sales over the Internet are not yet recognised by compilers, Chart Information Network (CIN) and so they do not count towards chart records.

But it's not all bad news. The band's exclusive Internet release could put weight behind moves to change the existing rules.

CIN says it recognises that sales on the Internet are likely to become more widespread and it is moving to address the issue.

Phil Matcham, CIN's marketing spokesman, said talks were being held with retailers and record companies on how to change its rules most effectively.

"It is technically possible and we don't foresee problems capturing sales figures, but are taking it carefully to make sure we get it correct," Mr Matcham said.

Label unconcerned

Rialto's record label China is unconcerned that the singles sales will not count in the charts.

After taking on the band in the run-up to the album's release, China's priority was to get the single out as quickly as possible.

China's head of marketing Jonathan Bunney said he is unsure how many singles will be sold over the Internet however he expects the figure to be "in the "thousands rather than hundreds."

Although the label does not anticipate using the marketing ploy for all its acts, the company expects that Internet sales will only get bigger.

"You only have to look at the United States where huge amounts are sold over the Internet," Jonathan Bunney said. "The face of retail is certain to change."

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