The Official Charts - Who we are
The Official Charts have been a central part of British popular culture for 70 years and counting.
With our finger on the pulse of the British record-buying, digital-downloading, music-streaming public, the Official Charts represent the UK’s only official, trusted weekly barometer of what is popular in music right now.
As heard on BBC Radio 1, Top Of The Pops and MTV, the Official Singles Chart Top 40 has chronicled the tastes of arguably the most influential music nation on the planet for more than seven decades. From The Beatles to Beyonce, Elvis to Ed Sheeran, 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 being held off Number 1 in the Queen’s Jubilee year, 1977, or Rage Against The Machine taking on the X Factor in 2009’s historic Christmas Number 1 battle - 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 – and OfficialCharts.com is its online platform.
The Official Charts are charged with this mission by the UK's entertainment industry - we are owned by two industry associations, the Era, the digital entertainment and retailers association, and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), which represent the nation's streaming services and retailers on the one hand and music labels on the other. In turn, we can only do our job with the support of our contracted market research partner, Kantar (formerly Millward Brown).
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 Golden Square, in the heart of London’s Soho area.
The company is a joint venture operation owned by two key music industry bodies: the BPI (representing the British recorded music industry) and ERA (everyone from Spotify, Amazon and YouTube through to HMV and hundreds of indie record shops). The role of the company is to commission, market and distribute the UK's official music and video charts, and manage the hugely powerful databases which enable the UK to claim the fastest and most sophisticated charts in the world.
In addition, we also compile the official charts and data for the music industries in Ireland and France, contracted by the local record labels associations in each market, Irma (Irish Recorded Music Association) and Snep (Syndicat National de l’édition Phonographique) respectively.
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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 million of the world’s most passionate and dedicated pop fans every month. (Google Analytics, Dec 2022).
It is the only place you can access the definitive Official Singles and Official Albums Chart Top 100 in full, plus official charts for Afrobeats, Alternative, Americana, Asian, Christian & Gospel, Dance, Classical, Country, R&B, Rock, Streaming 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.
To receive a tour of this database, read our handy, easy-to-follow guide - and to get some of the background behind the creation of this database, leaf through our essential outline here.
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.
For more information about us, please check out our FAQs.
The BPI (British Phonographic Industry) – British Recorded Music Industry
The BPI, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2023, is the representative voice of the UK recorded music business. As a trade association it promotes British music in the UK and worldwide, including through the BPI-administered Music Export Growth Scheme. It champions the rights and interests of its members, including collecting society PPL and the UK’s world leading record labels and music companies, who together account for around 85% of recorded music consumption in the UK – the world’s third-largest market – and 1 in 10 streams globally.
The BPI administers the iconic BRIT Certified Awards programme, which awards Platinum, Gold and Silver disc certification status to recordings as they achieve particular sales milestones, as well as the new BRIT Billion scheme, which celebrates those artists who have surpassed one billion career streams in the UK. The BPI additionally co-owns the Official Charts with the retailers’ association ERA; organises the annual BRIT Awards and Classic BRITs and is home to the Mercury Prize.
The BPI promotes innovation in music through its Music & Tech Springboard Programme, and provides insights, training and networking with its extensive free masterclasses, member events and authoritative reports, including its All About the Music yearbook (which draws on Official Charts Company data), alongside its public affairs and communications work. Advised by its EJAG members, the BPI is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion in music, while, focussed on education and wellbeing through the power of music, its community engagement is directed through its music industry charity The BRIT Trust.
ERA – the digital entertainment & retailers’ association.
Every week ERA’s members deliver up-to-the minute data on over 3bn music streams and more than half a million CD, LP, DVD and Blu-ray sales to power the Official Charts. 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. ERA’s members have been a driving force in using technology to transform the entertainment business, with around 90% of revenues now generated online. At the same time, its physical retail members have driven the revival of vinyl records, now in their 16th consecutive year of growth.
ERA also provides the organisational force behind Record Store Day, the hugely successful annual celebration of independent record stores, and runs (in partnership with the BPI) National Album Day and (in partnership with the BPI and Official Charts) The Record Club.
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.