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Chart rules to change to thwart Ed Sheeran and his ilk

By | Published on Tuesday 27 June 2017

Official Charts Company

Hey, so you remember that week when Ed Sheeran pretty much took up the entire UK top 20 singles chart, and everyone said the charts were broken and the Official Charts Company should do something about it? Well, the Official Charts Company has done something about it. It’s made everything slightly more complicated. Hooray!

The last big change in the singles chart was back in 2014 when streaming data was first added to it. There it was deemed that 100 plays of any track was equivalent to one sale. Then last year the chart makers decided that was all wrong, and actually 150 streams was equal to a sale. The aim there being to stop big streaming hits clogging up the chart for weeks on end and preventing newer tracks from having a go.

Then that bloody Ed Sheeran came along with his new album, and suddenly he had nine songs in the top ten. Surely that wasn’t supposed to happen. Surely something must done. Won’t someone think of the children! By which I mean, newer artists not getting into the chart simply because other people are more popular.

Under the new rules, which will kick in next month, an artist will only be allowed to have their three most popular songs in the top 100 at any one time. So none of that Ed Sheeran business anymore, oh no.

“The move will make it easier for new hits and artists to feature in the chart by preventing multiple tracks from popular artists dominating the singles chart”, says the OCC. “The move will minimise double-counting of album tracks between the Official Singles and Albums Charts and make the two charts more distinct. The new changes are expected to boost the number of chart hits by around 10%”.

Calling out artists who have been hogging the chart by being too popular, the official stat counter went on: “In the past twelve months, artists including Drake, Stormzy, Kendrick Lamar, Chainsmokers, Little Mix, The Weeknd and Ed Sheeran have had multiple tracks in the Top 40. The changes will limit the domination of such artists”.

Presumably for most artists, the three most popular songs are likely to be the singles from their latest album, so the charts will look a bit more like they used to in the olden days. But at the same time, the sudden popularity of an unofficial single – a ‘Ding! Dong! The Witch Is Dead’, or whatever – will still also get a look in. I hope you’re all happy now.