Italian labels body FIMI confirms that it has replaced its traditional singles sales chart with a digital downloads listing.

The move took place without any great fanfare on Jan. 1. The Italian sales charts, as used by Billboard, are prepared for FIMI by Nielsen Soundscan International. The digital chart is based on legal internet and mobile downloads.

Says FIMI president Enzo Mazza: "We've had a digital chart for some time, but it has now replaced the singles charts. This is for two basic reasons: the first is that CD singles sales are now so small that they are largely without significance and the second is that this change also sends a message about the importance of the country's growing digital market."

Ligabue's "Niente Paura" (Warner Bros.) topped the chart in the first week following the switch.

In separate chart news, FIMI/Nielsen Soundscan International has reported that Eros Ramazzotti's "e2" (Ariola/Sony BMG) was the top-selling album in Italy during 2007. According to Sony BMG, the album has sold 600,000 units in Italy, and a further 900,000 in the rest of Europe.

The second-biggest album of the year was Elisa's "Soundtrack 1996-2006" (Sugar), followed by Ligabue's "Primo Tempo" (Warner), Biagio Antonacci's "Vicky Love" (Iris Universal) and Laura Pausini's "Io Canto" (Warner). The top-selling single was Vasco Rossi's four-track EP, "Vasco Extended Play" (EMI).

In a statement, FIMI said: "Nine out of the 10 top-selling albums last year were by Italian artists. 2007 was another good year for Italian music."

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