Two Aussie acts made Australian chart history this week. Hilltop Hoods became the first domestic hip hop act to reach the top spot of the ARIA albums chart when their fourth set "The Hard Road" (Obese

Aussie acts Hilltop Hoods and Youth Group made Australian chart history this week.

Hilltop Hoods became the first domestic hip hop act to reach the top spot of the ARIA albums chart when their fourth set "The Hard Road" (Obese Records) debuted at No. 1 on Sunday (April 16).

"I predicted this would happen six months ago, but debuting at No. 1 was still a great surprise," Obese co-owner MC Pegz tells Billboard.biz.

"This is a sign of things to come for Oz independents, we have our fingers on the pulse and our hearts on the sleeve," he adds.

The album marks a return for the Adelaide-based trio after a year's hiatus. Their lead off single "Clown Prince" entered the ARIA Top 40 in January after crossover mainstream radio support from DMG Radio's Nova network.

This week also saw Sydney-based act the Youth Group claim the top spot on ARIA's inaugural top 40 Digital Track Chart with "Forever Young". The track had helmed the traditional singles charts for three weeks, but drops to No. 3 on that list this week.

The Motorola ARIA Digital Track Chart, like the trade body's other charts, collates sales in a cycle from Saturday morning to Friday night.

ARIA relaunched its charts after striking a strategic alliance earlier this year with mobile phone company Motorola and DMG Radio Australia.

Stephen Peach, chief executive of ARIA, anticipates the arrival of an integrated singles/download chart by the end of this year.

ARIA figures released last month showed that downloads made up 1.5% of the local recorded music market, to the value of A$8 million ($5.6 million). ARIA expects downloads to account for 5% to 6% of the market by the end of 2006.