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 orders on a Sunday afternoon show before it was released on the ARIA charts website.
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.
According to ARIA, a music single or album that has shipped a minimum of 35,000 copies to music retailers can be certified gold, and shippings of over 70,000 copies can be certified platinum.
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. 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.
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.