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OFFICIAL TRENDING CHART ARRIVES
2/15/16

By Rhian Jones

Here’s a sign of the times, the U.K.’s Official Charts Company has launched a trending chart to highlight the hottest new tracks making an impact in Blighty every week. Published every Tuesday from 2/16 onwards, the Top 20 rundown will be based on the first four days’ sales of each chart week, with artists limited to two entries each.

Titles will be ranked showing week-on-week growth and incorporate audio track sales and streams (100 streams being the equivalent of one sale). The chart was devised by the OCC with consultation from labels, retailers and media; the inspiration comes from the advent of On Air, On Sale.

A side effect of that has been a growing number of slow burners: instead of singles gaining awareness in advance and entering the chart high before trickling downwards, tracks are increasingly making their first impact lower down the Official Singles Chart, before climbing up the chart over a number of weeks—like Shawn Mendes' recent #1, "Stitches" (Virgin EMI), one of the steadiest climbs to the top in U.K. chart history.

Said Brian Rose, Managing Director of Universal Music U.K.’s Commercial Division: “Following the success of Global Release Day and the move to On Air, On Sale, the Official Trending Chart adds a new layer of excitement and intel to the changing consumption habits of music fans.”

Derek Allen, Warner Music U.K.’s SVP Commercial, welcomed the chart for being “helpful in our discussions with commercial partners [while acting] as another tool labels can use to break upcoming talent." Pete Black, Columbia Records’ Promotions Director, added: “It will be invaluable, as it has become much more challenging to break into the Official Singles Chart in recent months.”