Official Charts Company

Last updated

The Official UK Charts Company Limited
FormationJuly 1990;33 years ago (1990-07) (as Chart Information Network) [1]
Founded at London, England, United Kingdom
TypeInter-professional organisation (private company limited by shares)
PurposeTo award trending top singles
Website OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

The Official Charts Company (OCC or Official Charts; previously known as the Chart Information Network, CIN, and the Official UK Charts Company; legally known as the Official UK Charts Company Limited) is a British inter-professional organisation that compiles various official record charts in the United Kingdom, Ireland and France. [2]


In the United Kingdom, its charts include ones for singles, albums and films, [3] with the data compiled from a mixture of downloads, purchases (of physical media) and streaming. The OCC produces its charts by gathering and combining sales data from retailers through market researchers Kantar, and claims to cover 99% of the singles market and 95% of the album market, and aims to collect data from any retailer who sells more than 100 chart items per week. [4]

The OCC is operated jointly by the British Phonographic Industry and the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) (formerly the British Association of Record Dealers (BARD)) and is incorporated as a private company limited by shares jointly owned by BPI and ERA. [5] CIN took over as compilers of the official UK charts in 1990, [1] and the company has continued in that role, as the OCC, since 1994. [2] Before then, the charts were produced by a succession of market research companies, beginning with the British Market Research Bureau (BMRB) in 1969 and Gallup in 1983. Before the production of the "official" charts, various less comprehensive charts were produced, most notably by newspaper/magazine New Musical Express (NME) which began its chart in 1952. Some of these older charts (including NME's earliest singles charts) are now part of the official OCC canon.

European charts

In 2017, the OCC made a five-year deal with the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) to compile the Irish Singles Chart, Irish Albums Chart and other Irish charts on behalf of IRMA. [6]

In December 2020, [7] the OCC announced it was taking over the contract from German company GfK, in compiling the French music charts for Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique (SNEP)/National Union of Phonographic Producers (SCPP) with the OCC taking over on 1 January 2021.

Chart synopsis

All of the OCC's charts are published weekly on Friday nights, and cover sales for the preceding week, Friday to Thursday. From 3 August 1969 until 5 July 2015, the chart week ran from Sunday to Saturday. In the United Kingdom, genre-specific charts include Official Dance Singles Chart Top 40, Official Hip Hop and R&B Singles Chart Top 40, Official Rock & Metal Singles Chart Top 40, Official Progressive Albums Chart Top 30 and the Asian Music Chart Top 40. It also produces charts such as the Official Independent Singles Chart Top 50, which tracks the progress of records (singles and albums) released on independent record labels or distributed by independent companies (not WMG/Sony/UMG) regardless of the genre/music released.

The Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100 [8] appears in listings on the Official Charts Company's site alongside its charts for the Republic of Ireland and Billboard's Top 20 singles and albums [9] [10] (with a link to the full Hot 100/albums 200 via [11]

The Scottish chart is a listing reflecting how sales towards the UK Albums Chart are faring in Scotland. Until December 2020, the OCC published a Scottish singles chart on its website as well, though this chart may only be available via the UKChartsPlus newsletter. [12] This subscription newsletter also includes the Official UK Top 100 Welsh Singles and Albums Charts, which serves the same purpose in Wales as the ones in Scotland, and the full UK Top 200 Albums chart.

The Official UK Top 200 Albums is just one of a number of 'industry only' charts not published for the general public, with others including UK Budget Album Chart (with any album including a low dealer price is excluded from the main album chart). [13] Until the OCC changed its chart rules, and brought in criteria like the three-track rule (a maximum of three singles within the Top 100 by the same artist will be chart eligible), [14] a Top 200 Singles chart was also published for people within the music industry.

The OCC also charts sales of DVDs and Blu-rays within the United Kingdom. While its music charts are now Friday to Thursday, its video charts remain Sunday to Saturday.

On 5 September 2008, the Official UK Charts Company rebranded itself as the Official Charts Company and introduced a new company logo. [15] It later dropped the word 'Company' and became just "Official Charts".

From May 2012, a new chart was launched – the Official Streaming Chart. This counts audio streams from streaming services Spotify, Deezer, Blinkbox Music, Napster, amongst others. The chart is the first of its kind to rank streams from ad-funded and subscription services and the Official Streaming Chart Top 100 is now published weekly [16] on the Official Charts website, and in music industry trade magazine Music Week .

In April 2015, the UK's first vinyl record chart of the modern era was launched by the Official Charts Company due to 'the huge surge of interest' in the sector. The chart was launched following the growth of the sector in the UK for the seventh year in a row. [17]

In July 2015, Official Charts changed its chart methodology from traditional Sunday slot to the new Friday slot, effective on 10 July 2015 [18] to coincide with the 'New Music Friday - Global Release Day' campaign set by IFPI which effective on 10 July 2015 as well. [19] [20]

Beginning in 2017, the Official Charts Company changed its methodology for calculating the Top 40, intending to more accurately reflect the rise in music streaming. Prior to January 2017, 100 streams counted as one 'sale' of a song. From January onward, the ratio became 150:1. [21] Additionally, in June 2017, it was decided that after a record has spent at least 10 weeks on the chart, any track which has declined for three consecutive weeks will see its streams:sales ratio change from 150:1 to 300:1, in an attempt to accelerate their disappearance from the chart. [22]

In mid-2019, the company also compiled the Asian Music Chart Top 40, alongside BritAsia TV. The chart highlights UK's biggest Asian songs of the week, based on sales and streams across a seven-day period. [23] [24] [25]

In 2022, the success of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill" after its use in the fourth season of the Netflix series Stranger Things brought a challenge against the rules introduced in 2017. The rules were intended to prevent streaming of older songs potentially keeping them on the chart for years. This meant that Bush's song, which had been a Top 3 hit 37 years before, would have to obtain twice the streamings of Harry Styles' song "As It Was" to earn the same 'sales', despite easily being the most streamed and most downloaded song. The OCC granted a 'manual reset' in order to reflect the success of the revival of Bush's hit. [26]

As well as genre-specific and music video charts, the OCC tracks purchases (DVDs/blu-rays) and downloads of television programmes, films and sports/fitness videos [27] from a range of retailers and online sites.

The Chart Supervisory Committee

As the OCC is jointly operated by the BPI and the ERA, a Chart Supervisory Committee is in place with panel of representatives from both the record industry and from retailers. Five representatives from each sector are selected, with record companies represented by the major label corporations WMG, Sony Music and UMG alongside a couple of large independents, BMG Rights Management and PIAS Group. The Chart Supervisory Committee is the body which discusses and decides on any chart rule changes, whether it be changes to physical/digital formats or with the chart ratios ACR and SCR (Accelerated Chart Ratio and Standard Chart Ratio), with representatives meeting approximately four times a year. [28]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">UK Singles Downloads Chart</span> British music chart

The UK Singles Downloads Chart is compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC) on behalf of the music industry. Since July 2015, the chart week runs from Friday to Thursday, with the chart date given as the following Thursday.

The Official Albums Chart, previously the UK Albums Chart, is a list of albums ranked by sales and audio streaming in the United Kingdom. It was published for the first time on 22 July 1956 and is compiled every week by the Official Charts Company (OCC) on Fridays. It is broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and found on the OCC website as a Top 100 or on UKChartsPlus as a Top 200, with positions continuing until all sales have been tracked in data only available to industry insiders. However, even though number 100 was classed as a hit album in the 1980s until January 1989, since the compilations were removed, this definition was changed to Top 75 with follow-up books such as The Virgin Book of British Hit Albums book only including this data. As of 2021, the OCC still only tracks how many UK Top 75s album hits and how many weeks in Top 75 albums chart each artist has achieved.

<i>UKChartsPlus</i> Independent weekly newsletter about the UK music charts

UKChartsPlus is an independent weekly newsletter about the UK music charts. It was first published in September 2001 as ChartsPlus in order to authoritatively record the official music chart information in the UK, as compiled by the Official Charts Company. It began after Hit Music, a sister publication of Music Week, ceased publication in May 2001. The new newsletter was established totally independent of Music Week, licensing the chart data directly from Official Charts Company and other chart providers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">UK singles chart</span> British singles sales chart

The UK Singles Chart is compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC), on behalf of the British record industry, listing the top-selling singles in the United Kingdom, based upon physical sales, paid-for downloads and streaming. The Official Chart, broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and MTV, is the UK music industry's recognised official measure of singles and albums popularity because it is the most comprehensive research panel of its kind, today surveying over 15,000 retailers and digital services daily, capturing 99.9% of all singles consumed in Britain across the week, and over 98% of albums. To be eligible for the chart, a single is currently defined by the Official Charts Company (OCC) as either a 'single bundle' having no more than four tracks and not lasting longer than 25 minutes or one digital audio track not longer than 15 minutes with a minimum sale price of 40 pence. The rules have changed many times as technology has developed, the most notable being the inclusion of digital downloads in 2005 and streaming in July 2014.

The Irish Singles Chart is the Republic of Ireland's music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) and compiled on their behalf by the Official Charts Company. Chart rankings are based on sales, which are compiled through over-the-counter retail data captured electronically each day from retailers' EPOS systems. All major record shops, digital retailers and streaming services contribute to the chart, accounting for over 95% of the market. A new chart is compiled and released to the public by the Irish Recorded Music Association on Friday at noon. Each chart is dated with the "week-ending" date of the previous Thursday. The singles chart was first published on 1 October 1962, and covered the top ten singles of the previous week by record label shipments.

The UK Hip Hop and R&B Singles Chart and the UK Hip Hop and R&B Albums Chart are 40-position R&B and hip hop music charts compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC) on behalf of the music industry in the United Kingdom.

The Scottish Albums Chart is a chart compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC) which is based on how physical and digital sales towards the UK Albums Chart fare in Scotland. The official singles chart for Scotland, the Scottish Singles Chart, which was based on how physical and digital sales towards the UK Singles Chart were faring in Scotland, has not been published since 20 November 2020.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Official Classical Singles Chart</span> Song chart in the United Kingdom

The Official Classical Singles Chart was a record chart based on downloads and streaming of classical music in the United Kingdom. Each week's chart was compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC) and was first published on Monday afternoon on their official website. The chart ran for 140 weeks from 2012 to 2015, during which time a total of 23 singles by 22 artists reached number one. The most successful artist was the Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi, who topped the chart with three singles for a total of 54 weeks, while the most successful record label was Decca Records, which spent 89 weeks at number one with six singles. Einaudi's track "I Giorni" from his album of the same name spent 51 weeks at number one, longer than any other single. In January 2013, following the release of Einaudi's album In a Time Lapse, singles by the pianist accounted for 13 of the Top 20 on the Official Classical Singles Chart. Martin Talbot, managing director of the OCC, described him as one of the chart's "biggest and most consistent stars".

This is a summary of the year 2014 in British music charts.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">UK Album Downloads Chart</span> Album sales chart

The UK Album Downloads Chart is compiled by the Official Charts on behalf of the British music industry. Since July 2015, the chart week runs from Friday to Thursday, with the chart date given as the following Thursday. The chart was introduced in April 2006 to coincide with the OCC's decision to include sales of album downloads in the UK Albums Chart. The first album to top the download chart was This New Day by Embrace.


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