The USB memory stick and the vinyl hybrid formats have been granted new eligibility status for the U.K. charts.

Vinyl hybrid formats, which carry DVD or CD on one side and vinyl on the other side, will become eligible for the chart listings, according to new guidelines published today by Britain's charts compiler.

The Official U.K. Charts Company also says USB keys carrying albums will qualify for the national albums chart. It follows the OCC's decision in August to allow singles released on USB to qualify for the chart.

The new rules come into effect in the fourth quarter, during which time releases by the likes of Pink Floyd and Hadouken! will hit the market via USB. Universal has already experimented with various USB album releases, featuring artists including Bob Marley, Mika, Rihanna, Timbaland and Amy Winehouse.

"With a number of labels gearing up for the introduction of new formats, and a clear demand at retail for innovation on physical formats, we look forward to seeing the impact of these new initiatives," says OCC managing director Martin Talbot in a statement.

OCC chart director Omar Maskatiya says the development is a continuation of the chart company's intention "to keep the chart rules relevant to the market and proactively encompass new initiatives from within the industry." He adds, "OCC's ongoing challenge in a rapidly changing market is to ensure its guidelines for chart eligibility embrace developments across physical and digital formats."

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