Best known for the Official Singles Chart and the Official Artist Albums Chart, the Official Charts Company actually compiles more than 50 charts of different shapes, sizes and flavours – including a vast array of music genre charts and the Official Charts for the home entertainment industry, including the weekly Official Video Chart and the Official DVD and Blu-ray rundowns.
A full schedule of the charts compiled by the Official Charts Company is outlined here: All the Official Charts. Many of these charts are incorporated into the new consumer-facing database hosted on OfficialCharts.com - for some pointers on how to get the most out of this resource, check out our handy guide here.
The data to compile the Official Charts is drawn from a highly complex tracking service representing one of the most sophisticated ongoing market research programmes anywhere in the world. Traditionally, this data has been limited to sales of vinyl and CDs – but this has been enhanced in the past decade with the addition of digital download sales (of singles and albums) and, more recently, streaming information – which was added to the Official Singles Chart in July 2014 and Official Albums Chart in February 2015.
The weekly charts span a seven-day chart week running from just after midnight on Friday morning through to Midnight on Thursday evening. Sales and streaming data is retrieved daily from the Official Chart Company’s panel of more than 6,500 retailers (spanning retailers of physical products, digital downloads and streams) and aggregated in our central computer system. Across each week, this process involves the tracking of (on average) more than half a billion track streams, 3.5 million track sales, 3m video (DVD & Blu-Ray) sales and 1.5 million album sales every week
The full week’s data is then aggregated during Friday, with the key charts published on Friday afternoon – most notably, with the Official Singles Chart and Official Albums Chart unveiled between 4pm and 5.45pm. Since 1987, this has been the basis of a weekly appointment to listen on BBC Radio 1.
In addition to this high profile weekly announcement, BBC Radio 1 also began broadcasting the Official Chart Update on a Wednesday afternoon in spring 2010. Currently running from 3.30pm to 4pm, the Update provides listeners with a summary of the biggest releases of the week to date – essentially, a half-time scores update leading into each Friday’s Official Chart reveal.
In parallel with these publically available charts, the Official Charts Company also operates a range of data services for the entertainment industry. The vast volume of data collected each week provides the basis for the music and video industry’s definitive market insight; the Official Charts Company compiles this data on behalf of record labels association the BPI, the Entertainment Retailers Association and the British Video Association, who publish it in their statements on the health of the UK’s entertainment business, throughout the year and at year-end.
In turn, the data provides insight for the UK’s key record labels, video studios/distributors and entertainment retailers (as well as a range of overseas clients) to assess the success of their projects on a day-by-day, week-by-week basis. These services are available only to entertainment industry professionals, on a subscription and one-off basis – details for these services are available here: B2B data.