UK Singles Chart To Include Digital Only Sales
The UK Top 40 singles chart will now allow digital-only tracks to be included in the weekly Hit Parade listing for the first time in its history. As of the first of January, the Official UK Charts Company, which runs the marketing survey, has dropped its requirement that labels must produce the song in some physical form.
The OCC began to include digital downloads in 2004, and in March last year a song by Gnarls Barkly’s Crazy reached Number One purely via net distribution. The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) jointly runs the OCC.
The change has helped double the volume of singles sales. In 2004 32.3 million singles were sold in the UK, which rose to 65.1 million last year. Physical sales dwindled from 26.5 million in 2004 to 13.6 million last year. Rules have also been relaxed on qualifying EPs, which are now permitted to carry four tracks and run longer.