The United Kingdom's first Official Download Chart will launch September 1, compiling sales data from online retailers such as HMV, iTunes, MSN, Mycokemusic, Playlouder, Virgin and 7 Digital Media.
The United Kingdom's first Official Download Chart will launch September 1.
The chart will be compiled by the Official U.K. Chart Company (OCC), which already compiles the British industry's sales charts. It will include sales data from online retailers such as HMV, iTunes, MSN, Mycokemusic, Playlouder, Virgin and 7 Digital Media.
"People have talked about the online music revolution for years. The launch of the U.K.'s Official Download Chart shows the revolution is here," says Peter Jamieson, chairman of British record companies' trade association the BPI, in a statement.
Test data released by the OCC shows that this week, the download chart would have been topped by the Pixies with "Bam Thwok." The track was released independently by the band on their own label and offered as an exclusive on iTunes. "Bam Thwok" was a download-only track and does not appear in the singles sales charts of last week.
Next on the chart would have been Maroon 5 with "This Love" (J) and OutKast with "Hey Ya!" (Arista).
OCC charts director Omar Maskatiya says, "The Official U.K. Download Chart marks the most significant development in the charts since the advent of compact disc 20 years ago."
However, Jamieson adds that downloads "are not a replacement for the physical single or album. What this test data shows is that they are generating a new way of listening to music. Sales of tracks via download will likely be a fraction of those on album or even single for some time to come. Music remains overwhelmingly a CD market. But the excitement and energy surrounding the new legal music sites is giving a lift to the entire market."
The Official U.K. Download Chart will be sponsored by Coca-Cola. The beverage brand already sponsors OCC's Official U.K. Singles and Albums Charts. A weekly radio countdown show will be aired by public broadcaster BBC Radio 1.