The Official Charts Company, also referred to as Official Charts (previously known as the Chart Information Network (CIN) and The Official UK Charts Company) is a British inter-professional organisation that compiles various "official" record charts in the United Kingdom, including the UK Singles Chart, the UK Albums Chart, the UK Singles Downloads Chart and the UK Album Downloads Chart, as well as genre-specific and music video charts. The OCC produces its charts by gathering and combining sales data from retailers through market researchers Millward Brown, and claims to cover 99% of the singles market and 95% of the album market, and aims to collect data from any retailer who sells more than 100 chart items per week.
The OCC is operated jointly by the British Phonographic Industry and the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) (formerly the British Association of Record Dealers (BARD)). Since 1 July 1997, CIN and then the OCC have compiled the official charts. Prior to this date, the charts were produced by a succession of market research companies, beginning with the British Market Research Bureau in 1969, and later by Gallup. Before the production of the "official" charts, various less comprehensive charts were produced, most notably by newspaper/magazine New Musical Express (NME) which began its chart in 1952; some of these older charts (including NME's earliest singles charts) are now part of the official OCC canon.
|Official Charts Company|
Official Charts logo.
|Formation||3 August 1969 (as The Official UK Charts Company)|
|Founded at||England, U.K.|
|Purpose||To award trending top singles|
All of the OCC's charts are published weekly on Friday nights, and cover sales for the preceding week, Friday to Thursday. From 3 August 1969 until 5 July 2015, the chart week ran from Sunday to Saturday. Genre-specific charts include UK Dance Chart, UK Indie Chart, UK R&B Chart, UK Rock Chart and the Asian Download Chart. The Scottish Singles and Albums Charts ― and the former Welsh Singles and Albums Chart ― appears in listings within the Official Charts Company. It is a regional listing reflecting how sales towards the UK Singles Chart and UK Albums Chart are faring in Scotland. The Welsh Singles and Album Chart served the same purpose in Wales. It also charts the UK DVD Chart and UK Budget Album Chart. While their music charts are now Friday to Thursday, their video charts remain Sunday to Saturday.
On 5 September 2008, the Official UK Charts Company rebranded itself as the Official Charts Company and introduced a new company logo. It later dropped the word 'Company' and became just "Official Charts".
From May 2012, a new chart was launched – the Official Streaming Chart. This counts audio streams from streaming services Spotify, Deezer, Blinkbox Music, Napster, amongst others. The chart is the first of its kind to rank streams from ad-funded and subscription services and the Official Streaming Chart Top 100 is now published weekly on the Official Charts website, and in music industry trade magazine Music Week.
In April 2015, the UK's first vinyl record chart of the modern era was launched by the Official Charts Company due to "the huge surge of interest" in the sector. The chart was launched following the growth of the sector in the UK for the seventh year in a row.
In July 2015, Official Charts changed its chart methodology from traditional Sunday slot to the new Friday slot, effective on 10 July 2015 to coincide with the "New Music Friday - Global Release Day" campaign set by IFPI which effective on 10 July 2015 as well.
Beginning in 2017 the Official Charts Company changed its methodology for calculating the Top 40, intending to more accurately reflect the rise in music streaming. Prior to January 2017, 100 streams counted as one "sale" of a song. From January onward, the ratio became 150:1. Additionally, in June 2017, it was decided that after a record has spent at least 10 weeks on the chart, any track which has declined for three consecutive weeks will see its streams:sales ratio change from 150:1 to 300:1, in an attempt to accelerate their disappearance from the chart.