ChartsPlus - Do you know about it?

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Postby kingofskiffle » Sun May 20, 2018 7:15 am

I suppose I have long thought that everybody knows about ChartsPlus but recently I’ve come to realise that this may not be the case. Whilst I don’t want this post to become an advert in some sense it must be to list what ChartsPlus does and ask what should it do. We want, as all publications want, more subscribers. We wonder how to get them though.

ChartsPlus is an independent weekly newsletter about the UK music charts. We licence approximately 29 charts from the Official Charts Company and spend ages making sure that the titles, artist, labels and catalogue numbers are accurate and reflect the actual release details.

Our goal is accuracy.

Two types of issue are available. Express at £120 a year and Full at £145 a year. Express removes some charts and reduces the size of others.

Each issue is sent out on Monday nights or Tuesday morning and is in your inbox for Tuesday morning when you wake up.

Our customer service goal is to advise all subscribers of errors and then supply a replacement issue if needed. Examples include when a typing error has been made or more seriously such as in 2015 when the OCC reran the Rock Albums Chart and we used the second, correct, issue.

We also include a new entries spotlight which shows artist history for new entries into the singles 100, the main chart, and those new entries between 101-200 on the digital singles chart. The albums chart also has a new entry spotlight for records entering between 1 and 100. This includes catalogue numbers now, something not shown on the samples on the website.

Issues, including back issues, may be bought from http://www.ukchartsplus.co.uk

So that’s the background for anybody who doesn’t know. Now to my questions.

With the exception of price why don’t you subscribe to ChartsPlus? I’m not asking about price because we are unable to reduce this. I studies Business Studies and know that products have a point where people won’t pay when the price goes to but the price comes to about £2.78 per week if you subscribe to Full and pay yearly which is the cheapest option.

Should we have more charts? Should we have less? If so which do we drop? Which do we add? Be aware that if a chart does not exist or is not created we can’t have it so are restricted to what the OCC offer.

Equally we can not show sales information so please do not ask. That is confidential and the sales data released by other publications is part of an agreement with them for non specific rounded data or in special cases such as the number 1 record.

The big question - what is stopping you subscribing?

Thanks for your time and this is really interesting to me as I am really keen to know how people find out about things like ChartsPlus.
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Postby Lewis17 » Sun May 20, 2018 10:04 am

I have just renewed my subscription :D (PM sent).

The only chart missing that I'm interested in is the Music Videos chart, which is readily available on the OCC website.

Must admit I was disappointed when the Top 200 Singles ChartsPlus used to have access to was reduced to a Top 100, but at least the Top 200 Albums is still available. I also find the weekly BPI certifications valuable :D
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Postby kingofskiffle » Sun May 20, 2018 10:08 am

I know. I was quite annoyed when they did that as well. Apparently it was still compiled for a while at least using the old formula but where told in no uncertain terms it was not being offered for our use. Mostly to stop people using it as the definitive singles chart! Our big problem is that charts are readily available on the OCC website....
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Postby vdoerken » Sun May 20, 2018 10:11 am

Hi from Germany,

I have all issues of ChartsPlus, from 2006 onwards as a subscriber and have bought the back-issues beginning with #1.

I like it very much as a collector of charts, but there is one thing I really don't agree with the numbers in the album charts:

If you regard the positions 42 (Rumours) 48 (Oasis) 58 (Queen) and 86 (Oasis) you always show the number of weeks for the "remastered" or "anniversary" version. In my opinion this is not correct but it should print the original peak-position and the total number of weeks.

On the OCC side this is shown in a different way, of course only reflecting the weeks in the Top 100.

For example Queen GH : Chartsplus says PP 25, WOC 325 - on the OCC there is PP 1, WOC 824
Rumours has PP 3/ WOC 268 on ChartsPlus, but PP 1 / WOC 731 on the OCC side.

This is of course my personal opinion and I hope I could explain it with by rudimental English. Schooldays are so far away.

I hope you will find some subscribers for ChartsPlus.

Good luck!

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Postby kingofskiffle » Sun May 20, 2018 10:19 am

Thanks Volker and yes, I understood you fine. What we wanted to do with that was to try and reflect what version was being sold. For example go into HMV and you will not find any copies of the original version of the Beatles White Album, or Oasis, Queen, etc from before the album was remastered. The remastering makes them different recordings (they all have different ISRC numbers used to show a particular version or recording) and so they are "new" albums. Rumours for example would now be on 992 weeks if we included the 24 weeks for the double CD expanded edition from 2004 in that tally.
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Postby vdoerken » Sun May 20, 2018 10:29 am

Yes, I know why you do it this way. But in tome of downloads and streaming can you really tell the difference which version should be reflected?

But way do the OCC or Billboard for the US use a different method?
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Postby kingofskiffle » Sun May 20, 2018 10:31 am

I suppose it reflects the different countries sales size? I really don't know actually.
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Postby Robbie » Sun May 20, 2018 10:39 am

kingofskiffle wrote:I know. I was quite annoyed when they did that as well. Apparently it was still compiled for a while at least using the old formula but where told in no uncertain terms it was not being offered for our use. Mostly to stop people using it as the definitive singles chart! Our big problem is that charts are readily available on the OCC website....
The ready availability of the charts on the OCC website is the biggest threat to the long term viability of publications such as UKC+. Ultimately, the OCC run the risk of not being able to license the charts for publication while the charts are so readily available for free. Even The Sun newspaper has stopped publishing the OCC charts. The newspaper now just publishes the Spotify tracks chart on a Monday - the paper had previously published the OCC / official top 40 since at least the 1970s or 1980s but ceased doing so about a month ago. That alone must be a substantial loss of revenue to the OCC as well as a substantial reduction in visibility of the chart.

Isn't the Comprehensive Top 200 Singles chart (I think that was its official name when the published chart reduced to a top 100) still being compiled, but for industry eyes only? It was still being compiled earlier this year.
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Postby kingofskiffle » Sun May 20, 2018 10:46 am

I know when we asked we where told we couldn’t have it. Reading between the lines we assumed that was so nobody would compare or use that chart instead of the current chart. After all the best way to make people read something new is to take away something old.

We where really hurt by the OCC website hence asked here what people want because that is the only way to grow a subscriber base.
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Postby Icewoman » Sun May 20, 2018 6:51 pm

Hi Lonnie
I also have the UK + from the first issue. I have subscribed to it because the entire chart information is compiled here in a compact form. This reduces my effort, which I otherwise need to load the charts into my database. What I also do not find so happy are the many remixes or re-releases ...
I try to make an extra entry only if the title is re-recorded, for example, in another version (live or with other artists).
What I find unnecessary is the weekly information, the recently deceased artist. I'd rather have a different artist every week than a complete edition.
But otherwise just keep it up, you can’t all do it justice. Important is the information, everything else you can i do yourself.
:D :D

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Postby jszmiles » Tue May 22, 2018 2:16 pm

kingofskiffle wrote:I know. I was quite annoyed when they did that as well. Apparently it was still compiled for a while at least using the old formula but where told in no uncertain terms it was not being offered for our use. Mostly to stop people using it as the definitive singles chart! Our big problem is that charts are readily available on the OCC website....
oh my so top 200 is not available on C+ ? what is the main reason behind that? :x :x :x
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Postby Gambo » Wed May 23, 2018 4:09 pm

Sadly it was out of UKCP's hands. Robbie explained this very thing over on the Midweek thread recently and I quote directly from his post:

"The official, publicly available chart, is a Top 100 but a Top 200 'Comprehensive' chart is still compiled for the industry. The version we see was reduced in size to a Top 100 simply as a way of ensuring that the application of the ACR rule could be done as smoothly as possible. As the rule requires a record to have been on the chart for a minimum of 9 weeks the OCC decided to tie weeks on chart to weeks inside the Top 100. In the weekly mail-out of UKChartsPlus on 4 July 2017 the publisher of the newsletter announced the reduction in chart size by saying:

"On Thursday 29th June 2017, I received an e-mail from The Official Chart Company, stating that the Singles chart published from 7th July, will be a Top 100
ONLY, as new chart rules require for weeks on chart to be reflected and it was felt that the best compromise between a Top 200 and Top 40 was a Top 100."

The Comprehensive Top 200 isn't affected by 3 tracks per artist and ACR rules. I assume that the industry still want to have access to a chart that is
compiled under the old rules that existed until June 2017. However the OCC have decided to restrict availability of this chart solely to the music industry."

Hence, a 100 only for all now, including UKCP. I confessed at the time that I considered ceasing my subscription, as the Top 200 was the chief draw for me personally, and it's always nice to save money in these lean times. But, besides feeling bad about all the work the team put in to the publication and knowing that the withdrawal of any subs could be critical to its very existence, I felt that it wasn't fair to penalise UKCP for an OCC decision, and they are entirely at the behest of the OCC's whims. The team assembled some other material by way of recompense for the 'missing' 100 extended positions and the now-hidden comprehensive chart, which also helped render CP as still-relevant, even to those whose primary aim was to see the former full 200.
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Postby kingofskiffle » Thu May 24, 2018 5:11 am

As Gambo says that is the correct reason. We would love to print it still...
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Postby xsergan » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:30 pm

Despite top 200 singles no longer available, top 200 download singles is still super valuable, as well as Airplay 200. However, both these charts are obviously bloated with old all-time hits, which is a bit annoying. What would be the best addition to UKCP in my opinion is something like a "Bubbling Under" chart, showcasing climbing new songs under the official top 100. That could be even done unofficially as a summary from Download 200 and Airplay 200, but would certainly be best if licensed from OCC directly.
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Postby xsergan » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:35 pm

It also won't hurt if, say, for an Annual or Quarterly subscription, a random back-issue would be supplied every week as a bonus. I would also be extremely happy to get something like Top 200 charts from 1994-2001 (i.e. pre-UKCP) as a bonus for Annual subscription (I know it's not sold directly, but I'm sure these archives exist somewhere).
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Postby Robbie » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:47 pm

xsergan wrote:It also won't hurt if, say, for an Annual or Quarterly subscription, a random back-issue would be supplied every week as a bonus. I would also be extremely happy to get something like Top 200 charts from 1994-2001 (i.e. pre-UKCP) as a bonus for Annual subscription (I know it's not sold directly, but I'm sure these archives exist somewhere).
I'm guessing here but I'm sure UKC+ would have to pay a licence to publish any back issue. That is why UKC+ charges subscribers to purchase back copies.

Back in the period 1994 to 2001 the Top 200 was published in Hit Music. However the chart that appeared in that publication wasn't the official CIN chart as it included titles that were "starred out" of positions 76 to 200 because they fell foul of the rules in place that removed a record with falling sales for two consecutive weeks and where sales in the second week had fallen by 20% or more. The proper OCC / CIN chart was never made public )other than the top 75 and for a while positions 76 to 100 at nme.com around the turn of the Millennium. When ChartsPlus began publication in 2001 the then owner Herman Verkade was provided with the proper OCC charts from 1994 to 2001 simply to compile the New Entry Section of C+. Two things I do recall were that:

1. Herman was told never to refer to the Hit Music version of the chart as this was not an official listing. He had to use the official CIN version to compile the New Entry Section of C+

2. I believe (though I could be wrong here) that Herman couldn't publish those 1994 to 2001 official OCC charts simply because he didn't have the licence to do so but as at 1. above he could refer to specific chart positions

The cost of providing 1994 to 2001 official charts and to then provide a random back issue would financially be far too prohibitive. Plus someone would have to check each subscribers details to see which back issues they have already purchased. Until almost a decade ago I would subscribe now and again but don't have a full set (or anywhere near a full set) of back issues. Logistically it would be a problem deciding who got what (ignoring the actual cost to UKC+ to provide those back issues).
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Postby kingofskiffle » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:09 am

xsergan wrote:Despite top 200 singles no longer available, top 200 download singles is still super valuable, as well as Airplay 200. However, both these charts are obviously bloated with old all-time hits, which is a bit annoying. What would be the best addition to UKCP in my opinion is something like a "Bubbling Under" chart, showcasing climbing new songs under the official top 100. That could be even done unofficially as a summary from Download 200 and Airplay 200, but would certainly be best if licensed from OCC directly.
Thats not a bad idea. Potentially we could simply remove anything form the Download 200 which was older than, say, 1 year and just use that. I'll look into it for the last few years and see a) whether its feasible to produce as we don't have release dates for every record (most but not all) and b) what size chart it produces.
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Postby Chartaholic » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:43 am

Robbie said:
I'm guessing here but I'm sure UKC+ would have to pay a licence to publish any back issue. That is why UKC+ charges subscribers to purchase back copies.
Wouldn’t that fee have been paid at the time the back issue was originally published? It seems bizarre that the license agreement with OCC is on a per issue sold basis, rather than a blanket fee for the week initially published. The latter is the most standard type of licensing agreement.

But this might be getting into proprietary information that UKCP won’t discuss. :)

I’d love to get UKCP but it’s just too expensive when factoring in exchange rates to justify it. So adding features won’t win me over. But that said, I don’t feel the publication is too expensive for what it is and should currencies change, then it would make my purchase list :)
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Postby bonjovi81 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:41 am

I believe that it is necessary to add a chart of the catalog albums, which constitute such a significant part of the English market, for the rest, I would insert the list of physical albums maybe taking it to a top 200
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Postby Robbie » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:55 am

Chartaholic wrote:Robbie said:
I'm guessing here but I'm sure UKC+ would have to pay a licence to publish any back issue. That is why UKC+ charges subscribers to purchase back copies.
Wouldn’t that fee have been paid at the time the back issue was originally published? It seems bizarre that the license agreement with OCC is on a per issue sold basis, rather than a blanket fee for the week initially published. The latter is the most standard type of licensing agreement.

But this might be getting into proprietary information that UKCP won’t discuss. :)
Thinking about it, it wouldn't make sense to charge a fee on a per issue sold basis. It probably is when the original charts were purchased and therefore at the time the back issue was originally published. In which case I assume the cost of purchasing back issues helps pay for current licensing fees.
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Postby kingofskiffle » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:00 am

Without going into info I can’t give out basically yes.

As all companies do we negotiated a deal to secure the charts and the 1994-201 set was negotiated to aid future issues not to be published. Equally a fee would need to be arranged for issues from 1952-1994 for similar reasons. Money made from the sale of 201-2018 back issues goes to offset the costs of the current issues. This is usually what happens with all magazine subscriptions.

I also need to make it clear that we as Charts Plus do not make any money out of it.
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Postby kingofskiffle » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:03 am

bonjovi81 wrote:I believe that it is necessary to add a chart of the catalog albums, which constitute such a significant part of the English market, for the rest, I would insert the list of physical albums maybe taking it to a top 200
There used to be a catalogue albums chart and it was stopped some time ago. I’d imagine it to be relatively static. Look at the Rock Albums chart which has the same 30 albums each week, largely.
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Postby xsergan » Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:26 am

Hello,

As far as I know OCC will start publishing a new Official Video Streaming Chart. Will ChartsPlus also include it?
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Postby kingofskiffle » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:10 pm

xsergan wrote:Hello,

As far as I know OCC will start publishing a new Official Video Streaming Chart. Will ChartsPlus also include it?
OCC will be compiling the chart. I do not believe that we will be carrying it, but I'll know more tomorrow - if it gets sent!
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Postby etjoset » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:47 pm

I subscribe since issue 1. A huge respect to those who give their time and dedication to it.
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