Who are the Official Charts?
The Official Charts are the UK’s only official, trusted weekly measure of what is popular in music right now – as heard on BBC Radio 1 - we have been a central part of British popular culture for over 70 years.
We publish more than 50 different charts every week. Our most popular charts are the Official Singles Chart and Official Albums Chart, but we also have charts for different genres including Rock, Afrobeats, Americana, Dance, Classical, as well as format rundowns such as the Official Vinyl Chart, Official Streaming Chart etc.
How is The Official Chart compiled?
- The Official Chart is the most comprehensive survey of its kind, almost a full market count in fact, it captures over 99% of all UK singles consumption, 98% of all albums and over 90% of all videos and DVDs.
- We count sales and streams from 8,000 sources every single day and then combine them all every Friday for the Official Charts, unveiled by BBC Radio 1 and published on OfficialCharts.com.
- The chart week counts sales and streams from 00.00 Friday morning through to 23.59pm on Thursday evening (this never stops, not even for Christmas.)
- Our aim is to reflect all the ways that fans consume music – across physical releases (CDs, vinyl, cassette etc.), downloads (audio, video, even NFTs), and streaming (audio or video).
- Because buying a single or album is different to streaming a track, we use a formula to combine all of this information: 100 premium streams (when you pay for a subscription) or 600 ad-funded streams are counted as 1 single ‘purchase’.
- For albums, we count the 16 most-streamed tracks from any album, and divide by 1,000 to create an “album stream” unit. Each of these units are counted as equivalent to 1 album purchase (whether download, CD or vinyl) for chart purposes.
- Sales and streams of all versions of a track, including for example remixes, acoustic versions, live versions, sped-up versions, are all combined together into one total and one chart position in the Official Chart.
Which retailers and streaming platforms count towards The Official Chart?
We constantly review your music habits to add new retailers, and to reflect new ways that fans buy and listen to music.
Back in the day, the only sales we counted were on physical formats (7 inch and 12 inch vinyl, CDs and cassettes), then music downloads arrived in 2004, and streaming in the mid-2010s.
Audio streams started counting towards the Official Singles Chart in 2014, and in the Official Albums Chart in 2015. Video streams followed into the singles chart in 2018 and the albums rundown in 2023. We’re constantly evolving to reflect UK music consumption!
Right now, our retailers and services include the likes of Apple Music, Amazon, Spotify, YouTube, HMV, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Google Play, Deezer, Napster, Bandcamp, Bleep, Juno, Musicglue, Sandbag, Townsend and hundreds of independent record shops like Rough Trade, Banquet Records, Piccadilly Records, and video retailers.
How can I listen to the charts?
The Official Chart is broadcast live every Friday on BBC Radio 1 from 4pm to 5.45pm, hosted by Jack Saunders.
You can listen live or on catch-up via BBC Sounds; or live on BBC Radio 1 on 97-99FM, on DAB Radio, online at bbc.co.uk/radio1, and on Freeview, Sky, Virgin and Freesat too.
On Sundays from 6-7pm you can listen to The Official Chart: First Look with Katie Thistleton & Vick Hope, giving a first glance of the Top 20 ahead of Friday’s final Official Chart.
You can also watch the Official UK Top 40 on MTV, along with a range of other chart programmes based on data compiled by the Official Charts Company.
You can also listen to any track that’s ever charted in the UK, visit the Charts section of OfficialCharts.com and press play on a chart of your choice.
The Official Charts in Numbers
- Every week we count more than 3.5 billion track streams, 2 million albums, 1 million movie downloads and half a million video (DVD, Blu-Ray & Download) sales.
- Just over 1,400 singles have reached Number 1 in the UK, across 3,680 Official Singles Charts.
- 1,300 albums have topped just over 3,500 Official Albums Charts.
- More than 130 tracks have been streamed more than 200 million times to date in the UK; the most streamed song of all time being Lewis Capaldi’s Someone You Loved. See the list here.
- 179 singles have exceeded 1m pure sales in UK chart history, topped by Sir Elton John’s Candle In The Wind. See the list in full here.
- To date in the UK, 4.6 billion singles have been sold, and well over 800 billion total streams have been consumed (split between nearly 700 billion audio streams and 130 billion video streams)
What do you need to sell to get a UK Number 1?
- The average Official Number 1 single was streamed over 7.3 million times a week
- The average Top 20 song 2.5 million times
- The average Top 40 song 1.7 million times.
Why are we special?
The Official Chart is different from any other charts you might see online or hear on the radio.
The Official Chart is owned by the music industry – the record labels, retailers and digital services – our chart rules are both decided by, and signed up to, by the industry, and are the only industry-endorsed charts!
We count all of your streams and music purchases wherever they happen, instead of relying on sales or streams from just one service like some other charts do.
Our charts come with a guarantee of accuracy and transparency - we pride ourselves on the openness of our charts, the rules governing them and commit ourselves to being totally open on how we do things.
The Number 1 Award
Since 2011, we have been presenting the biggest and best artists in the world with our now-iconic Number 1 award.
We’re proud to have presented our Singles (silver), Albums (gold) and specialist awards to more than 300 artists; from Abba to Zayn, Adele to Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters to Fontaines DC, Taylor Swift to Stormzy, Sam Smith, Sam Ryder and Sam Fender, Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, and Queen.
If your fave has had a Number 1 in their career, they’ve probably got one of these on their shelf.