U.K. pop charts set for radical overhaul
Fri Jan 5, 2007 9:20am ET29
By Michael Holden
LONDON (Reuters) - The British pop chart will undergo one of the biggest shake-ups since its inception 54 years ago on Sunday when any song downloaded from the Internet will be able to compete for the number one single spot.
Up to now, only songs which were physically available for purchase in shops counted toward the weekly chart.
Downloads could be included, but only a week before an actual CD single went on sale and for two weeks after it stopped appearing in stores.
However, with downloads now far outstripping over-the-counter sales, the Official UK Charts Company (OCC) has changed the rules meaning this Sunday's number one could be any track whether it has been sold in stores or online.
It said the "dramatic development" would be more reflective of what music Britons were buying, and could mean that old tunes, tracks by unknown artists or unreleased songs on albums hitting the top of the charts.
"This new ruling changes the nature of a single and puts the consumer in the driving seat," said OCC director Steve Redmond.