With our finger on the throbbing pulse of the British record-buying, digital-downloading, music-streaming public, the Official Charts are the UK’s only official, trusted weekly barometer of what’s popular in music right now.
As heard on BBC Radio 1, Top Of The Pops and MTV, the Top 40 Official Singles Chart has been chronicling the tastes of arguably the most influential music nation on the planet for more than 60 years. From The Beatles to Beyonce, Rolling Stones to Rihanna, Kylie to Miley, and Spice Girls to Little Mix, the Official Chart has crowned artist success week in, week out, across seven glittering decades.
Whether it is Blur and Oasis locking horns in 1995, the Sex Pistols’ God Save The Queen controversially being held off Number 1 during the Queen’s Jubilee in 1977, or Rage Against The Machine taking on the X Factor in 2009’s greatest Christmas Number 1 battle in history - the Official Charts aren’t just the authority on what is popular in Britain, the Official Charts ARE British pop culture.
The guardians of these charts are the Official Charts Company – while OfficialCharts.com is the website which celebrates more than 60 years of UK chart history, from 1952 right up to the present day.
We are charged with this mission by the UK's entertainment industry - we are owned by two industry associations, the Entertainment Retailers Association (Era) and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), which represent the nation's retailers and music labels respectively. In turn, we can only do our job with the support of our contracted market research partner, Kantar (formerly Millward Brown), who in February 2015 marked 21 years compiling the UK's charts on our behalf.
The Official Charts Company
Initially formed in 1998 to manage the future development of the charts in the fast-moving entertainment industry, and control rights to the historic charts, the company behind the charts operates today from offices in County Hall, on London’s South Bank.
The company is a joint venture operation owned by two key music industry bodies: the BPI (representing the British recorded music industry) and the Entertainment Retailers Association (representing entertainment retailers and digital services from HMV, supermarkets and indie stores through to Amazon MP3, Spotify and Netflix). The role of the company is to commission, market, distribute and manage the UK's official music and video charts – with its chart compilation contractor Kantar managing the hugely powerful databases which enable the UK to claim the fastest and most sophisticated charts in the world.
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The UK’s fastest growing music website, OfficialCharts.com is the online home of the UK’s official, breaking, exclusive daily chart news, direct from source, to 2.5 million of the world’s most passionate and dedicated pop fans every month. (Google Analytics, Dec 14/Jan 15).
It is the only place you can access the definitive Official Singles and Official Albums Chart Top 100 in full, plus official charts for Dance, Rock, R&B, Alternative, Streaming, Classical, Country, Asian, Christian & Gospel and more - all in one place, at the click of a button.
OfficialCharts.com delivers video interviews with the week’s Official Number 1 artist, hot new releases, competitions, flashback features celebrating classic chart icons, one-hit wonders, and the oh-so guiltiest of guilty pleasures.
The site also features the web’s first and only official, definitive database of Official Singles Charts and Official Albums Charts from the 1950s right up to the present day, updated artist chart histories and interviews with many of the UK’s favourite artists, both current and historic.
Curious to find out who was the most-streamed act of the past week? Itching to know who is leading the Christmas Number 1 race before your mates? Want to find out just how much last night’s Glastonbury’s headline slot has boosted album sales of your favourite act?
We offer a 100% exclusive and authoritative first glimpse of all that, and much, much more.
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The BPI (British Phonographic Industry) – British Recorded Music Industry
The BPI was formed in 1973 and is the representative voice of the UK recorded music business. As a trade organisation it promotes recorded music in the UK and worldwide and champion the rights and interests of a broad range of members, including hundreds of independent music labels and the UK’s major record company groups. In 2013 its members accounted for approximately 90% of all recorded music purchased in the UK – the world’s fourth largest music market – as well as 1 in 8 albums sold around the globe.
The BPI administers the iconic Certified Awards Programme, which awards Platinum, Gold and Silver disc certification status to music recordings as they achieve particular sales milestones, while it also co-owns the Official Charts with the retailers’ association ERA. The BPI additionally organises the annual BRIT Awards show as well as the Classic BRIT Awards and the BRITs Icon shows. The organising company BRIT Awards Limited, is a fully owned subsidiary of the BPI. Substantial proceeds from both shows go to the BRIT Trust, the charitable arm of the BPI that has donated almost £20m to charitable causes nationwide, including The BRIT School and Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy, since its foundation in 1989. www.bpi.co.uk
Entertainment Retailers Association
The Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) brings together the dynamic digital services and retailers who collect the sales data which powers the Official Charts. ERA members record details of literally millions of transactions and streams every week. From the smallest indie record shop to supermarkets, High Street chains, home delivery and digital services, ERA's membership covers virtually every player in the business. In generating new ways to enjoy music, video and games, not just from discs, but on tablets and via mobile, ERA members are transforming the face of entertainment. www.eraltd.org
Kantar is the market research company currently contracted by Official Charts Company to collect sales data. The chart compilation system employs the largest market research sample currently in use in the UK and is one of the most sophisticated chart systems in the world. Kantar maintains a large database, the Product Master File, which details all known physical and digital audio and video releases. www.kantar.com.