Record chart

A record chart, also called a music chart, is a ranking of recorded music according to certain criteria during a given period of time. Although in the UK, the official chart has only included physical sales and paid-for streaming, many different criteria are used in worldwide charts, including record sales, the amount of radio airplay, and since the popularity of online consumption of music, the number of downloads and the amount of streaming activity.

Some charts are specific to a particular musical genre and most to a particular geographical location (although download charts are not easily pinned down in this way). The most common period of time covered by a chart is one week with the chart being printed or broadcast at the end of this time. Summary charts for years and decades are then calculated from their component weekly charts. Component charts have become an increasingly important way to measure the commercial success of individual songs.

Chart hit

A chart hit is a recording, identified by its inclusion in a chart that uses sales or other criteria to rank popular releases, that ranks highly in popularity compared to other songs in the same time frame. Chart-topper and related terms (like number one, No. 1 hit, top of the charts, chart hit, and so forth) are widely used in common conversation and in marketing, and are loosely defined. Because of its value in promoting recording artists and releases, both directly to the consumer, and by encouraging exposure on radio, TV other media, chart positioning has long been a subject of scrutiny and controversy. Chart compilation methodology and data sources vary, ranging from "buzz charts" (based on opinions of various experts and tastemakers), to charts that reflect empirical data such as retail sales. Therefore, a chart-topper may be anything from an "insiders' pick" to a runaway seller. Most charts that are used to determine extant mainstream popularity rely on measurable data.

Record chart performance is inherently relative, as they rank songs, albums and records in comparison to each other at the same time, as opposed to music recording sales certification methods, which are measured in absolute numbers. Comparing the chart positions of songs at different times thus does not provide an accurate comparison of a song's overall impact. The nature of most charts, particularly weekly charts, also favors songs that sell very well for a brief period of time; thus, a song that is only briefly popular may chart higher than a song that sells more copies in the long range, but more slowly. As a result, a band's biggest hit single may not be its best-selling single.

According to Joel Whitburn, the American trade publication Billboard introduced the Hot 100 on August 4, 1958. This was the first chart in the US to "fully integrate the hottest-selling and most-played pop singles."[1] From 1958 until 1991, Billboard compiled the chart from playlists reported by radio stations, and surveys of retail sales outlets. Before 1958, several charts were published, including "Best Sellers in Stores", "Most Played by Jockeys" (later revived under the name Hot 100 Airplay), and "Most Played in Juke Boxes", and, in later collations of chart hits, the record's highest placing in any of those charts was usually reported. On November 30, 1991, Billboard introduced a new method of determining the Hot 100, "by a combination of actual radio airplay monitored electronically by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems (BDS), additional playlists from small-market stations, and actual point-of-sale information provided by Nielsen SoundScan."[1] Until 1998, any songs placed on the chart had to be physically available as a single.[1] The Hot 100 continues to be published.

Other terminology

There are several commonly used terms when referring to a music/entertainment chart or the performance of a release thereon.

A new entry is a title which is making its début in that chart. This is applied to all charts, for instance a track which is outside the Top 40 but which later climbs into that level of the chart is considered to be a 'new entry' to the Top 40 that week. In most official charts, tracks have to have been on sale for a period of time in order to enter the charts; however, in some retailers' charts, new releases are included in charts as 'new entries' without a sales history in order to make them more visible to purchasers. A real new entry is a title that makes its chart début, no matter how many positions officially the chart actually is. In the UK the official published chart is a Top 100 although a new entry can take place between positions 101-200 (this is also true of the Billboard Hot 100, which has a "bubbling under" addendum for new songs that have not yet made the Hot 100). The Top 40 is only used for radio to shorten the play-lists.

A re-entry is a track which has previously entered a chart falls out of that chart and then later re-appears in it. This may come about if a release is reissued or if there is a surge of interest in the track. Generally any repeat entry of a track into a chart is considered a re-entry, unless the later version of the track is a materially different recording or significantly repackaged (such as Michael Jackson's "Thriller 25"), where the release would normally be considered separate and thus a "new" entry.

A climber is a release which is going higher in the chart week-on-week. Because chart positions are generally relative to each other on a week-to-week basis, a release does not necessarily have to increase sales week-to-week to be a climber, as if releases ahead of it decline in sales sufficiently they may slip below it. By the same metric, not all week-to-week sales increases result in a climber, if other releases improve by a sufficient amount to keep it from climbing. The term highest climber is used to denote the release making the biggest leap upwards in the chart that week. There is generally not an equivalent phrase for tracks going down the chart; the term "faller" is occasionally used, but not as widely as 'climber'.

The top 10, top 20 and so forth are used to determine the relative success of a release. For instance, a track may be referred to as a 'top 10 hit' if it reaches a position between 1 and 10 on the singles chart, as a 'top 20 hit' if it reaches between positions 1 and 20, and so on. The most commonly known chart is the 'top 40' widely used by the media in various territories, though it is common for longer lists to be produced for or by the music industry. For example, in the UK, the Official Charts Company produces a top 200, although various media only publish shorter lists.

A one-hit wonder is an act that appears on the chart just once. The term true one-hit wonder was the term given by Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums (and also the Billboard book Top Pop Singles) is an act that has one number one hit and nothing else on the chart ever. If an act appears in some other form, (for example) a solo act that appears with a band or with other acts then these are taken separately.

Music charts and programs

Top 10

Name Notes
Topp 10 Singles Norsk Norwegian Singles Chart for Norwegian language songs
Philips Top 10 Indian Top 10 on Zee TV

Top 20

Name Notes
Philippine Top 20 Philippines local songs chart
The Official Lebanese Top 20 Lebanese airplay chart
in 2 editions - English and Combined English and Arabic
Top 20 Countdown Canadian country music chart countdown
on CMT
The Official Finnish Charts
also called Suomen virallinen singlelista
Finnish Top 20 Singles Chart

Top 30

Name Notes
Country Countdown USA American radio-based country chart
Top 30 Belgian Radio 2 Top 30 or VRT Top 30
(previously BRT Top 30)

Top 40

Name Notes
American Top 40 radio airplay countdown
Ö3 Austria Top 40 airplay + sales chart
Dutch Top 40 airplay + streaming and social media trends
Hitlisten Danish chart
Mexican Airplay Mexican radio plays chart published by Billboard magazine
NZ Top 40 New Zealand music chart published by Recorded Music NZ
Los 40 Principales Spanish chart
Take 40 Australia Australian top 40 countdown
The Official Chart UK sales + streaming chart on BBC Radio 1
The Net 40 a worldwide user generated Top 40 show
VG-lista Norwegian chart

Top 50

Name Notes
Mega Top 50 Dutch music chart
Oricon Singles Chart Japanese chart
Ultratop (Flanders) Belgian Flanders Ultratop 50 Singles Charts
Ultratop (Wallonia) Belgian Flanders Wallonia 50 Singles Charts
Ultratip (Wallonia) Belgian Wallonia Top 50 of Bubbling other singles

Top 75

Name Notes
Ö3 Austria Top 75 Austrian Singles Chart with
Ö3 Austria Top 40 adopted by broadcasters
and the positions 41 to 75 considered as bubbling under
Swiss Hitparade Swiss Singles Top 75

Top 100

Name Notes
Argentina Hot 100 Argentine chart
ARIA Top 100 Chart Australian chart
Billboard Hot 100 American standard record chart for songs.
Chart published weekly by Billboard magazine
Billboard Japan Hot 100 Japanese international chart
Chart published weekly by Billboard magazine
Brasil Hot 100 Airplay Brazilian chart
Canadian Hot 100 Canadian chart
Chart published weekly by Billboard magazine
European Hot 100 Singles Pan-European chart published by Billboard magazine
Now discontinued
Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana
Italian chart
Gaon Digital Chart South Korean chart
GfK Entertainment Charts German Top 100 chart
Irish Singles Chart Irish music chart
Philippine Hot 100 Philippines chart
Rádio – Top 100 Czech national airplay chart
Single Top 100 Dutch Singles Chart
Sverigetopplistan Swedish Top 100
The Official Chart UK Top 100 Singles Chart published by The Official Chart
(BBC airs just the Top 40 from the same chart)
Top 100 Mexico Mexican chart
Ultratip Belgian Flanders Top 100 of Bubbling other singles

Top 200

Name Notes
Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique
French Singles Chart in 3 editions
Download / Streaming / Combined

See also


  1. ^ a b c Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles 1955-2002 (1st ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. xi-xiii. ISBN 0-89820-155-1.
Canadian Hot 100

The Canadian Hot 100 is a music industry record chart in Canada for songs, published weekly by Billboard magazine. The Canadian Hot 100 was launched on the issue dated March 31, 2007, and is currently the standard record chart in Canada; a new chart is compiled and officially released to the public by Billboard every Tuesday.

The chart is similar to Billboard's US-based Hot 100 in that it combines physical and digital sales as measured by Nielsen SoundScan, streaming activity data provided by online music sources, and radio airplay as measured by Nielsen BDS. Canada's radio airplay is the result of monitoring more than 100 stations representing rock, country, adult contemporary and Top 40 genres.The first number-one song of the Canadian Hot 100 was "Girlfriend" by Avril Lavigne on March 31, 2007. As of the issue for the week ending April 27, 2019, the Canadian Hot 100 has had 141 different number-one hits. The current number-one is "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus.


Hitlisten, also known as Tracklisten, is a Danish top 40 record chart that is updated every Thursday midnight on the website The weekly Danish singles chart Track Top-40 combines the 40 best-selling tracks from legal music downloads and the sales of music singles on either CD or vinyl. The data are collected by Nielsen Music Control, who also compile the chart on behalf of IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry).

Kent Music Report

The Kent Music Report was a weekly record chart of Australian music singles and albums which was compiled by music enthusiast David Kent from May 1974 through to 1988. After 1988, the Australian Recording Industry Association, which had been using the report under licence for a number of years, chose to produce their own listing as the ARIA Charts.Before the Kent Report, Go-Set magazine published weekly Top-40 Singles from 1966, and Album charts from 1970 until the magazine's demise in August 1974.David Kent later publicised the Australian charts from 1940–1973 in a retrospective fashion using state by state chart data obtained from various Australian radio stations.

Philippine Hot 100

The Philippine Hot 100 was the music industry standard record chart in the Philippines for singles and published weekly by Billboard Philippines. The charts combine overall rankings of both top-performing local and international songs. They are compiled by Nielsen Music through ranking songs based on online streaming from Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube and digital downloads from iTunes.The first number-one song of this chart was "Shape of You" by Ed Sheeran. The first chart was issued on June 12, 2017, coinciding with the Independence Day. The short-lived chart was last updated on January 15, 2018.

Moira dela Torre's "Titibo-tibo" is currently the highest OPM song entry in the chart. It has peaked at number 1 spot.


R (named ar/or ) is the 18th letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

Rap Albums

Top Rap Albums is an American record chart published by Billboard that ranks rap albums based on sales compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.

Recorded Music NZ

Recorded Music NZ (formerly Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ)) is a non-profit trade association of record producers, distributors and recording artists who sell music in New Zealand. Membership of Recorded Music NZ is open to any recorded music rights owner operating in New Zealand, inclusive of major labels (Sony, Universal and Warner Music Group), independent labels and self-released artists. Recorded Music NZ has over 2000 rights holders.

Prior to June 2013, the association was known as the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ). RIANZ and PPNZ Music Licensing were merged and renamed Recorded Music NZ.Recorded Music NZ offers services under three areas: Member Services (the New Zealand Music Awards, The Official NZ Music Charts, Music Grants and direct services to artists and labels), Music Licensing (undertaken independently or in most cases, via OneMusic, a joint licensing venture between Recorded Music NZ and APRA) and Pro Music services regarding copyright protection and corporate affairs. Recorded Music NZ is also a joint trustee (with APRA) of the NZ Music Hall of Fame.


Svensktoppen (Swedish: [²svɛnskˌtɔpːɛn]) is a weekly record chart airing at Sveriges Radio. Until January 2003, the songs had to be in the Swedish language. Svensktoppen has aired since 1962, except for the years 1982-1985. The last years before the January 2003 change, the programme was strongly dominated by dansband music.

The first number one hit song was "Midnattstango" performed by Swedish crooner Lars Lönndahl.

New rules on 17 January 2016 restricted the maximum length for a song to chart to one year.


Sverigetopplistan (Swedish: [²sværjɛˌtɔpːˌlɪstan], lit. "Sweden top list") is the Swedish national record chart, earlier known as Topplistan (1975–1997) and Hitlistan (1998–2007) and known by its current name since October 2007, based on sales data from the Swedish Recording Industry Association (in Swedish Grammofonleverantörernas förening). Before Topplistan, music sales in Sweden were recorded by Kvällstoppen, whose weekly chart was a combined albums and singles list.

Swiss Hitparade

The Swiss Hitparade (German: Schweizer Hitparade) are Switzerland's main music sales charts. The charts are a record of the highest-selling singles and albums in various genres in Switzerland.

The Swiss charts include:

Singles Top 75 (released since 1968)

Albums Top 100 (released since late 1983)

Compilations Top 25

Airplay Top 30Since 2010, Hitparade's compiler Media Control has also set up Les charts, a record chart of the highest-selling singles and albums in Romandie, the Francophone region of Switzerland:

Romandie Singles Top 20

Romandie Albums Top 50The charts are updated weekly on Sundays, and are posted publicly on the preceding Wednesday mornings.


VG-lista is a Norwegian record chart. It is presented weekly in the newspaper VG. It is considered the primary Norwegian record chart, charting albums and singles from countries and continents around the world. The data are collected by Nielsen Soundscan International and are based on the sales in approximately 100 shops in Norway. The singles chart started as a top 10 chart in week 42 of 1958 and was expanded to a top 20 chart in week 5 of 1995, the same time the albums chart, which started as a top 20 chart in week 1 of 1967 was expanded to a top 40 chart.

Record charts (List of)
North America
South America

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