Albums Sold At U.K. Shows Will Count Toward Sales Chart

Ryan Hunter
Matt Bellamy of Muse performing.

Albums sold at gigs across the U.K. will now count towards the country's official weekly charts. 

The Official Charts Company is embracing Lightning Live, a new system of collecting sales at live venues which the charts compiler says has been “road tested” over the past six months to ensure accurate sales are reported.

It’s a bonus for any artist who has set up a merch stand and sold recordings at their own shows and, according to the OCC, its means the weekly albums survey will now reflect “the widest range of formats and outlets" in its history. 

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“The launch of Lightning Live follows approaches from both independent and major labels, who are increasingly using live events as a route to get their products to fans and new audiences," OCC chief operating officer Omar Maskatiya comments in a statement. 

“We strive constantly to ensure that the Official Charts reflects and responds to consumer behavior and this move, following just a few months after the integration of streams, further underlines this strategy."

The news coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Official U.K. Album’s Chart, which today collates sales data from across physical formats (CDs, vinyl albums and cassettes), digital bundles and streams, and from a range of retailers, from supermarkets to clothing stores, mail order operators, digital services and, with this new initiative, live shows.

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For the record, the first albums chart was launched by the NME in July 1956 and was a weekly poll compiled from specialist music shops selling 12" vinyls. Frank Sinatra’s Songs For Swingin’ Lovers was the first to top the chart.