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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 February 2006, 14:59 GMT
Download-only sales 'for chart'
Arctic Monkeys
Chart-toppers the Arctic Monkeys have benefited from digital sales
Download-only sales figures are to be included in the singles and album charts, it has been reported.

Rules which barred any single from the charts unless it was released on CD have been scrapped, said Music Week.

From the beginning of March, digital sales will be counted a week before a CD single is released.

A digital song will only enter the charts the night before physical release, calming retailers' fears that they would be left with empty shelves.

Chart space

Music labels have long been keen to include download sales in chart data.

The Chart Supervisory Committee (CSC) has introduced other rules to ensure music retail stores do not lose out.

Record labels will have to give retailers notice if they are planning to delete a physical single or album.

Two weeks after this, releases will be disqualified from the chart to ensure that music does not remain in the chart solely on the basis of digital sales.

The CSC says this will free up chart space which has previously stopped new releases from charting as high as possible.

Download album sales will be included in that chart for the first time from the end of next month, which is expected to reflect the growing digital sales market in this area.

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