It was on Friday November 14, 1952 that the very first UK singles chart was revealed within the New Musical Specific, the outcomes of a rudimentary survey of 20 file retailers by the music paper’s promoting supervisor Percy Dickins.
Within the a long time since that first UK singles chart was revealed, the Official Singles Chart has turn out to be an establishment – chronicling the musical tastes and cultural moments in Britain each week. It’s now an enormous and complicated weekly operation polling hundreds of bodily retailers, digital obtain shops and streaming platforms each day, with the Official Chart as we all know it right this moment persevering with to be broadcast on BBC Radio 1.
New knowledge launched right this moment by the Official Charts Firm reveals:
A complete of 4.55 billion singles, 683 billion audio streams and 128 billion video streams (811 billion whole streams) have been consumed within the UK.
1,404 singles have reached the Official No 1 spot, from Al Martino’s Right here In My Coronary heart, to reigning chart topper Taylor Swift’s Anti Hero which was topped on the finish of October.
179 singles have reached 1 million gross sales, the largest of all of them being Sir Elton John’s One thing About The Means You Look Tonight / Candle In The Wind 1997 on 4.94 million gross sales. The newest single to be topped 1,000,000 vendor is Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off, her first to prime 1m gross sales within the UK.
132 singles have been streamed greater than 200 million instances, probably the most streamed single of all time being Lewis Capaldi’s Somebody You Liked, with 562 million streams to its identify (480m audio streams and 81 million video streams).
The gross sales and streaming survey exhibits how music consumption has shifted through the years, with gross sales rising by way of the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties, taking off once more by way of the digital music explosion within the early a part of the brand new century (the primary reputable obtain shops kicking off in 2004), reaching a rare peak of 1.26bn gross sales within the Tens, the largest decade in historical past for singles gross sales – reaching twice the extent of any earlier decade. Since then, streaming has exploded and has reached file ranges within the Twenties.
The explosion of streams implies that the fixed circulate of million sellers has now all however halted. On the time of the Official Singles Chart’s sixtieth anniversary in 2012, some 123 singles had reached the million landmark – Taylor Swift’s achievement in passing 1m gross sales with Shake It Off this yr (her profession first UK million-seller) brings the all-time whole to 179.
This whole is unlikely to develop a lot additional, with streams now dominating (audio / video streams account for 98.6% of the singles market in 2022).
Official Charts Firm chief govt Martin Talbot says:
“This new survey hammers residence simply how a lot music listening and shopping for the Official Singles Chart has seen throughout the previous eight a long time – and simply how a lot music the British public has loved in that point.
“The Official Singles Chart was born only a few months after Queen Elizabeth took the throne, on the day of then Prince Charles’ (now King Charles III) fourth birthday. Since that point, from the period pre-rock & roll proper as much as the current day, there may be barely a side of life that hasn’t modified – and the Official Singles Chart has been there to chronicle all of it.”
Thus far solely Somebody You Liked by Lewis Capaldi, plus Form Of You and Excellent by Ed Sheeran, have topped 500m lifetime streams, with solely seven tracks topping 400m lifetime streams. The observe with most audio streams to its identify is Form Of You (502 million), probably the most streamed video is Child Shark by Pinkfong (220 million).
In 2022, the common No 1 single collects 6.82m streams in every week. To succeed in the High 10 requires 2.83m streams, to succeed in the High 40 1.31m streams. The variety of Quantity 1s per yr reached their peak within the yr 2000 when 42 totally different songs topped the chart, and within the 2020s are in keeping with the yearly averages achieved within the Seventies, between 16 and 17 each year.
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