Australian Recording Industry Association
The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) is a trade group representing the Australian recording industry which was established in 1983 by six major record companies, EMI, Festival, CBS, RCA, WEA and Universal replacing the Association of Australian Record Manufacturers (AARM) which was formed in 1956.1 It oversees the collection, administration and distribution of music licenses and royalties. The association has more than a hundred members, including small labels typically run by one to five people, medium size organisations and very large companies with international affiliates. ARIA is administered by a Board of Directors comprising senior executives from record companies, both large and small. As of October 2010, the directors were Denis Handlin (chair, CEO of Sony Music), George Ash (Universal Music), Mark Poston (EMI), Sebastian Chase (MGM Distribution), David Vodica (Rubber Records/Music) and Tony Harlow (WAR).2
In 2006, ARIA formed sponsorship deals with Motorola and Nova and changed the appearance and conduct of the charting. Motorola took naming-rights sponsorship seeing the charts referred to in the media as the Motorola ARIA Charts. ARIA, have commented that as part of the same marketing printed charts would be reintroduced into media retailing shops and their website would be redesigned. As part of the deal Nova began broadcasting the charted singles in reverse order on a Sunday afternoon show before it was released on the ARIA charts website.
From January 2012, the syndicated radio programme "Take 40 Australia" (through the MCM Network) returned to the Top 40 ARIA singles chart for its weekly playlist.
In 1956, the Association of Australian Record Manufacturers (AARM) was formed by Australia's major record companies.1 It was replaced in 1983 by the Australian Recording Industry Association, which was established by the six major record companies operating in Australia, EMI (now part of Universal Music Group), Festival Records, CBS (now known as Sony Music), RCA (now part of Sony Music), WEA (now known as Warner Music) and Polygram (now known as Universal). It later included smaller record companies representing independent acts/labels and has over 100 members. By 1997, the six major labels provided 90% of all recordings made in Australia.1 ARIA is administered by a Board of Directors comprising senior executives from record companies, both large and small. As of October 2010, the directors were Denis Handlin (chair, CEO of Sony Music), George Ash (Universal Music), Mark Poston (EMI), Sebastian Chase (MGM Distribution), David Vodica (Rubber Records/Music) and Tony Harlow (WAR).2
Australian TV pop music show Countdown presented its own annual awards ceremony, Countdown Music and Video Awards, which was co-produced by Carolyn James (aka Carolyn Bailey) during 1981–1984 in collaboration with ARIA.345 ARIA provided peer voting for some awards, while Countdown provided coupons in the related Countdown Magazine for viewers to vote for populist awards.6 At the 1985 Countdown awards ceremony, held on 14 April 1986, fans of INXS and Uncanny X-Men scuffled during the broadcast and as a result ARIA decided to hold their own awards.5
Since 2 March 1987, ARIA administered its own entirely peer-voted ARIA Music Awards,7 to "recognise excellence and innovation in all genres of Australian music" with an annual ceremony.89 Initially included in the same awards ceremonies, it established the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1988 and has held separate annual ceremonies since 2005. The ARIA Hall of Fame "honours Australian musicians' achievements [that] have had a significant impact in Australia or around the world".10
In February 2004, the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) announced its own legal action against Kazaa, alleging massive copyright breaches. The trial began on 29 November 2004. On 6 February 2005, the homes of two Sharman Networks executives and the offices of Sharman Networks in Australia were raided under a court order by ARIA to gather evidence for the trial.
ARIA collects recorded music sales data from more than 1100 music retailers across Australia. Sales figures are then extrapolated to achieve a 'best estimate' of the actual overall sales of each title. Titles are ranked according to their 'weighted' sales figures.
The charts are calculated once every week on Sundays. They are based on retail music sales within Australia for the week from the preceding Saturday to the Friday prior to calculation. The new charts are usually uploaded to the official ARIA website on Sunday night Eastern Australian time. The Club Chart is compiled from weekly DJ reports across Australia.
In April 2006, ARIA began producing a Digital Track Chart, calculated from sales data submitted by major online music providers such as Apple iTunes, BigPond Music, Destra Music, NineMSN Music and Soundbuzz, as well as retailers such as Ripit, Leading Edge and JB Hi-Fi.11 ARIA says the digital sales market accounted for $8 million revenue to the industry during 2005, or around 1.5 per cent of the overall wholesale market.12
Certifications are based on singles or albums shipped to retailers, not sold/purchased by customers,13 however when physical singles stopped being released certifications on singles were actually bought by consumers.
- 35,000 units: Gold
- 70,000 units: Platinum
Like most recording industry associations, ARIA has been criticised for fighting copyright infringement matters aggressively, although in Australia this has largely taken the form of aggressive advertising campaigns particularly in cinemas directly preceding movies. This criticism is stauncher in Australia due to the absence of an equivalent Digital Millennium Copyright Act or state crimes acts which clearly establish copyright infringement as a crime.
In February 2004, the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) took legal action against Kazaa, alleging massive copyright breaches. The trial began on 29 November 2004. On 6 February 2005, the homes of two Sharman Networks executives and the offices of Sharman Networks in Australia were raided under a court order by ARIA to gather evidence for the trial.
The ARIA charts have also been criticised as an easily manipulated market tool abused by aggressively marketed pop acts. "Gold" and "Platinum" ARIA awards are based on units shipped to retail outlets, not on how many of those units are sold to customers. A lukewarm album or single release can achieve Gold or Platinum status by flooding the market with copies, and if 99% are returned to the manufacturer that in no way affects the status of the award.
- For more information, see ARIA Charts.
- Top 50 Singles Chart
- Top 20 Dance Chart
- Top 20 Australian Chart
- Top 50 Club Chart
- Top 40 Digital Track Chart
- Top 50 Physical Singles Chart
- Top 40 Urban Singles Chart
- Top 50 Albums Chart
- Top 50 Digital Albums Chart
- Top 50 Physical Albums Chart
- Top 50 Catalogue Albums Chart
- Top 20 Country Chart
- Top 20 Compilations Chart
- Top 40 Urban Albums Chart
- Top 50 Music DVDs chart
- Siobhan O'Connor, ed. (1997) . The book of Australia : almanac 1997–98. Balmain, NSW: Ken Fin: Watermark Press for Social Club Books. p. 515. ISBN 1-875973-71-0.
- "Who We Are". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Archived from the original on 25 October 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
- "WAM Scene". Western Australia Music Industry Association Incorporated. 2005. Archived from the original on 2008-07-20. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
- "The Countdown Story". Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). 2006. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
- "The quirks that made it work". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2006-08-05. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
- "Countdown Magazine" (PDF). Australian Broadcasting Corporation. January 1986. Retrieved 2009-02-07.
- Knox, David (2007-10-17). "ARIAs hall of infamy". TV Tonight. Archived from the original on 20 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-03.
- "ARIA Awards". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Archived from the original on 5 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- "ARIA Awards 2008 : Home". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Archived from the original on 5 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- "ARIA Hall of Fame - Home page". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Archived from the original on 27 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- ARIA Chart Stores, ARIA official site
- ARIA announces launch of Australia’s official Digital Track Chart, ARIA official site.
- ARIA Charts - Accreditations, ARIA
- Zuel, Bernard (2007-09-06). "Scarlet letters". The Sydney Morning Herald.