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BBC Launches Downloaded Music Charts 206

PReDiToR writes "The BBC today aired its first chart rundown of downloaded music. 'The Official UK Download Chart is based on the most popular, legally downloaded tracks in the UK. It's compiled from the sale of permanently owned single track downloads and doesn't include streamed downloads, subscriptions or free downloads.' The Chart played on Radio 1, the UK's most listened to station, and will be a regular feature."
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BBC Launches Downloaded Music Charts

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  • by darth_MALL ( 657218 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @07:20PM (#10133702)
    From the country that brought us the Spice Girls. No Thanks.
  • Good Statistic?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by artlu ( 265391 ) <artlu AT artlu DOT net> on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @07:21PM (#10133706) Homepage Journal
    Can this be a reasonably good statistic? Most of the music that I listen to online either comes from online radio stations, Poisoned (mac app), or iTunes. What clout would this have over any other song statistics? [] - Stock Forum
    • Re:Good Statistic?? (Score:3, Informative)

      by BasilBrush ( 643681 )
      The Radio 1 chart is the standard chart by which all UK hits have been measured since the 1960s. There are a few other UK charts out there, but they are unimportant in comparison. You need to be number 1 on the Radio 1 chart to be considered an official number 1 song.

      This new download chart is from the same place, so can be considered official as far at the UK industry and music fans will be concerned.

      On top of that it is compiled from multiple online music stores, and will presumably be monitored for a

      • Additionally, it is compiled from every song sold on the covered stores (iTMS, Real and OD2), rather than just a sampling of real world record shops.

        It's therefore much harder to manipulate, although Westlife re-releasing their biggest hit for the occasion shows it can be done, but at least that was true sales (the fans were more manipulated than the stats).

    • "Can this be a reasonably good statistic? Most of the music that I listen to online either comes from online radio stations, Poisoned (mac app), or iTunes. What clout would this have over any other song statistics?"

      There is a ratings list that might be more relevant for you that's compiled by the RIAA. It's not as user-friendly as the BBC list though.
  • Wouldn't it be cool (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shfted! ( 600189 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @07:22PM (#10133719) Journal
    Wouldn't it be cool to link such a list to bittorrent for automatic downloading? That way, you'd get fresh music that's supposedly good every day. I'd love it. And it would be user selected music -- not the crap the recording industry feels like feeding us this week.
    • Did you read the list ?

      It's all manafactured stuff, some british some american but no real good music.#
      • by Varitek ( 210013 )
        Did you read the list ?
        Have you heard of all of the list?
        It's all manafactured stuff
        No, of course you haven't, otherwise you wouldn't have called Goldie Lookin' Chain 'manufactured'
        • I have heard of all the list.

          I was a little too quick criticise, not all of it is bad, actually I rate Maroon 5 quite highly. Most of it however is crap.

          As for goldie lookin chain, I'm still not sure whether they are a joke or not, it wouldn't surprise if in a few months time we find out that they are all ali g style comedians.
          • Well, Goldie Looking Chain's next song, allegedly, will be "You Mother Has A Penis".

            And they're Welsh I believe, so I'm guessing parody is pretty likely.

            • Well, Goldie Looking Chain's next song, allegedly, will be "You Mother Has A Penis".

              And they're Welsh I believe, so I'm guessing parody is pretty likely.

              You never know with the welsh though...
            • by emm-tee ( 23371 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @08:03PM (#10133984)

              Yeah, they entertain. They wouldn't claim anything else. They come from a shit town, and they take the piss out of it, themselves, and anyone else that strays near. They've been making records for years, giving them to their mates, having a laugh.

              Now the media has picked up on the comedy (and genius), so they get their moment of fame. I think they're pretty realistic about it though. As they say, they're out for a laugh, they fully expect to be back working the tills in supermarkets before long.

              They're fucking funny though. If you don't knows it, download some of their stuff, it's funny as fuck. Their website is [].

      • Jesus Fucking Christ, I'm sick of you indie kids. Just because something is "manufactured" doesn't make it BAD. Half the shit that you listen to will be as contrived as Avril or Britney, and the thing is you don't even realise it!

        Meanwhile Avril releases Don't Tell me and Britney releases Toxic and obliterates virtually every release this year that meets your cool quotient but you've got your head stuck too far up your ass to realise it.
        • by g-doo ( 714869 )
          Exactly. Finally, another person who understands. Honestly, part of the reason why people keep classifying this manufactured music as bad is because other people claim that it's bad. It's just the cool thing to do. The power of influence can really blind you over what's really your own opinion and what isn't. These artists don't hit the top of the charts because everyone hates them. Think about it.
        • I may be alone in my opinion, but personally I can't stand popular music because the content of the songs is so banal, bland and boring. Why should 8 songs out of 10 be about love/sex? Aren't there any other interesting topics besides kissing lips and holding hands?

          P.S. I just checked the lyrics to the albums you mentioned and as far as I can tell, they too consist of the same boring drivel about luv.
        • by rooijan ( 746599 )
          Personally I don't think manufactured necessarily equates to bad. What gets me is that to have a successful pop career (where pop is things like Britney, Avril etc) you have to be attractive and sexy. Ever seen an ugly *pop* star? Would most pop survive on the radio, without sex-on-TV music videos to back it up?

          Some other genres of music (hard rock, metal, jazz etc) do not rely on attractive people to make it sell, they rely on good music.

          Having said that, I listen to and enjoy many pop tunes. However, wh
        • Well said.. ok, you can be a littel easy on the language.. but agreed...

          remember, Craig David, when he started was NOT manufactured.. the guy has talent, and can litterally come out with lyrics when placed on the spot.. i know because i have seen the guy peform in a london club before he became famous.

          However, now he is famous, he is considered "manufactured"
        • I like toxic too, though you can keep avril, that song you mentioned is awful.

          Everything is contrived if you look at it the wrong way, my point wasn't about what is cool or not but that the uk download chart isn't a hell of a lot different from the uk normal chart.

          The original poster was trying to say that you would find more diverse music on the download chart, but having looked at it i don't see much evidence of that.
      • Aww, c'mon. I mean, it is Green Day, but at least "American Idiot" is the best song they've managed to put out since, well, they got big... not that I'm a huge Green Day fan, mind you, but that's a half-decent song your slammin', I'm impressed it's even on *any* top 10 list... it *almost* sounds like an actual punk band ;-)

        I mean, it's a top 10 list, fer cryin' out loud, what did you *think* would be on it?

      • Muse aint manufactured

        though im not sure if they have an presence in america at all so ill forgive you :P
      • THIS is what the Marority of people are downloading.. sorry.. this is a UK DOWNLOAD chat of POPULAR songs..

        Not a list of songs that EpsCylonB likes.....

        Its like cars, mercedes BMW Jag ferrari may be better cars, but you will never see them in the top 10 sales!
    • I'd prefer to see the top 20 "illegally" downloaded songs. The top 20 provided is a little too posh pop for my liking.
      • by lucabrasi999 ( 585141 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @07:35PM (#10133813) Journal
        The top 20 provided is a little too posh pop for my liking.

        I guess you just don't realize that Avril Lavigne is NOT a pop star. She's an Ar-teest'. You can just feel her angst and pain as she sings every one of her heart felt lyrcs.

        Oh, you're right. Who am I kidding? At least Outkast made the list.

        • yeah because 'hey yah' is really underground and counter culture. i mean, i do love outkast, and it was awesome that they had a super popular song (pitty it made it onto every genre radio station, every hour of every day). I thought it was cool that Muse was on there, personally.
  • More Information (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Feneric ( 765069 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @07:24PM (#10133725) Homepage
    It would be nice if they posted a bit more info. Like for example exactly how the figures are tabulated -- is it a straight weekly sum, or are past results worked in somehow either through strict accumulation or a weighted average... Furthermore, do audio books get tossed into the mix (not that one is apt to win)? It would also be neat to see what formats people were downloading the music in.
    • ...and then we could use Tableau [] to give us a nice pretty picture of all that data!

    • by emm-tee ( 23371 )
      Well, if it's anything like the UK singles chart, (also reported on Radio 1), it's simply sales. Nothing else - no airplay, nothing, just the sales of the week in question.

      Like most people, I don't believe that what people buy is necessarilly a guide to quality, but at least it's not influenced by corporation or radio station policy. It's a fair measure in an imperfect world.

      (Yes I've just come back from the pub)
  • by happyhippy ( 526970 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @07:24PM (#10133729)
    ..that all the sites are stacked with crap pop music and have hardly any decent real proper music on them.
    • ..that all the sites are stacked with crap pop music and have hardly any decent real proper music on them.

      I'm sure myself and others hate the top 40 manufactured rubbish as much you do, but the fact remains that such music is very popular amongst a lot of people, and any decent chart sampling the general population is going to reflect that.
    • Ahh, what would slashdot be without people competing to be more-elitist-than-thou?

      Yeah, I was listening to [band name] back when all they had was their grandfather's guitar and some rocks to bang together. They were good then. Shame they sold out. Now I only listen to dreadlocked accountants playing ultra-Nu-experimental hip-hop blues. You philistines just don't realise how utterly crap the stuff you enjoy really is.

    • Let me see, my iTMS purchased music since the UK store opened includes:

      1. The Cure
      2. The Human League
      3. Mike Oldfield
      4. Roxy Music
      5. Sinéad O'Connor
      6. Fairport Convention
      7. Ultravox
      8. Marillion
      9. Clannad
      10. Bruce Springsteen
      11. Paul Simon
      12. Nick Drake
      13. James Galway
      14. Jeff Wayne
      15. Toucan Pirates

      Yes, you're right - all crap pop music.

  • I feel old (Score:4, Funny)

    by rjstanford ( 69735 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @07:27PM (#10133754) Homepage Journal
    I just realized that out of those twenty songs, I recognized exactly ... none of them. Sheesh. And I even listen to the radio (Jack FM in Dallas, KGSR in Austin) - I guess my musical tastes aren't anywhere close to mainstream any more.
    • by Frogbert ( 589961 ) <{frogbert} {at} {}> on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @08:12PM (#10134034)
      Don't worry they are exactly the same as the ones you know, just with rap lyrics.
    • Re:I feel old (Score:2, Insightful)

      by emm-tee ( 23371 )

      Excuse me from jumping to conclusions, but your use of "sheesh" may indicate that you are not from the UK.

      It's a UK chart.

      Fortunately, the entire English speaking world does not listen to the same music. I assume there is not a large non-UK audience for The Streets, Keane, Goldie Lookin' Chain, however good they may be.

      • Excuse me from jumping to conclusions, but your use of "sheesh" may indicate that you are not from the UK.

        Ironically enough, I am from the UK - born in Leicester, grew up outside of Bedford. I'm currently in Texas, US. Rather than language analysis, I would point to the inclusion of "Austin" (might be missed) and "Dallas" (pretty obvious) in my post, along with the fact that I blithely disregarded the fact that anyone wouldn't know (or care) in which country those were in. That's much better evidence t
  • I wonder... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jmcmunn ( 307798 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @07:28PM (#10133761)
    I wonder how long it takes for music companies or artists to artifically inflate the "legal downloads" of their music so that people think it is "popular" when they hear it on the radio on the Top 20.

    And of course once it is "popular" people will start buying it to see what the fuss is about, thus selling more. Maybe I'm just a skeptic, but it seems like another way to get the same stuff to sell even more. Oh well.
  • Nitpick alert (Score:5, Informative)

    by T-Kir ( 597145 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @07:28PM (#10133766) Homepage

    I RTA earlier, but IIRC Radio 2 is the most listened to radio station in the UK, not Radio 1.

    Yes I know, nitpick alert... but the subject matter is relating to chart positions :-)

    • Re:Nitpick alert (Score:4, Informative)

      by ed_g2s ( 598342 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @07:44PM (#10133867)
      YRC: Radio 1: 9.73 million Radio 2: 13.43 million Radio 3: 2.02 million Radio 4: 9.51 million Radio Five Live: 6.15 million
    • And I hate Radio 1 anyway... It's full of idiots playing R&B, or similar rubbish. Now that Mark and Lard have gone, and Chris Moyles has left the afternoon slot, I listen to Terry Wogan in the morning (yes, I know, it's about as sad as you get...) and Steve Wright whenever I can. Johnathon Ross is good too... In fact, Radio 2 beats almost all of Radio 1's crew hands down... And I'm Radio 1's target audience - I'm 19!
  • by usefool ( 798755 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @07:29PM (#10133773) Homepage
    At the bottom of the article is a list of "Official Downloads Sites", it'll be interesting when we can get the sales figures from each one of them for the complete chart.
    • iTunes
    • Napster
    • MyCokeMusic
    • Streets Online
    • 7 Digital Media
    • Playlouder
    • MSN Music
    • Big Noise Music
    • HMV
    • Virgin
    • Tiscali Music
    • Sonic Selector
    • Wanadoo
  • by ElForesto ( 763160 ) <elforesto @ g m a i l . c om> on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @07:31PM (#10133785) Homepage
    ... would be a list of the most-downloaded songs that weren't paid for. You could compare that to this list and see which songs are actually worth buying.
  • peel (Score:5, Insightful)

    by justforaday ( 560408 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @07:31PM (#10133790)
    give me a site that lets me download whatever song john peel is currently playing and i'll be happy.
  • Copyleft my ass (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RabidChicken ( 684107 ) <`andrew' `at' `'> on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @07:32PM (#10133796) Homepage
    I am greatly disappointed in so far as the chart offered automatically discounts legitimate artists that do not choose to sell their tracks online but give them away for free. Examples being Brad Sucks [] and the Acedia Music Netlabel [] under licenses such as the Creative Commons music license. It will take something like the BBC or other mainstream music outlets (MTV or other such dribble) to recognize this music distribution model to get artists any exposure. That being said I can see how from a purely practical level that one would have to rely either on the artists themselves or mirrors to provide statistics which may be skewered. In addition, artists like Brad Sucks may get significantly more downloads from the simple fact of being free (in every sense) rather than another indie band that has only pay downloads.

    Bah humbug.

    P.S. Brad Sucks is one of my favourite bands
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )
      On the one side, you have music being redistributed, so there's no global total of how many downloads there are. That would make it underreporting.

      On the other side, you have ballot stuffers. If you wanted to make an artist popular, download it many times over. How to do that is left as an exercise for the reader, but it is obvious this leads to overreporting.

      Oh and yeah, even if this music is release for free (speech or otherwise), there is a motive to ballot stuff. Both to get you fame (as such), as a p
  • TOTP? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fiannaFailMan ( 702447 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @07:39PM (#10133836) Journal
    But is this the stuff that they're gonna play as the definitive chart on Top of the Pops? Or are they gonna stick with the Gallup chart? And is the Network Chart still around? Apart from being used by independent radio stations that syndicated David Jenson's show, and ITV's excellent DJ-free Saturday morning "The Chart Show," it wasn't really regarded as 'the' chart like the one on TOTP was.
    • I can't imagine they'd do that until the download numbers start exceeding the record shop numbers. It's only something like 2% of the market now.
  • by Sanity ( 1431 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @07:39PM (#10133837) Homepage Journal
    Those familiar with the BBC will be familiar with "Top of the Pops" - a long-running BBC show targeting teenagers which used the TV station we all pay for to funnel the greatest pile of unbelievably crap commercial noise (the term "music" doesn't really apply) into the eager ears of Britain's youth. This was based on the UK singles chart which is widely regarded to be completely manipulated by the music industry. Why exactly the British public must pay for this weekly infomercial for the worst the music industry has to offer is quite beyond me.

    With any luck, the music industry will have a more difficult time in manipulating this chart, and it will therefore more accurately reflect the musical tastes of the UK's youth.

    • Why would this chart be more difficult to manipulate than the old record stores version? To manipulate the old chart, you have to send people out to travel the country buying copies in the significant record shops. With this new version, you can write a python script to visit all the online stores and purchase multiple copies. Enter the song title you want to promote that week, and how much you want to spend, and press enter.

      Of course it'll need lots of separate accounts setting up, with lots of differe

      • Why would this chart be more difficult to manipulate than the old record stores version? To manipulate the old chart, you have to send people out to travel the country buying copies in the significant record shops.
        Yes, but because they knew which record shops were being used to collect data, the effect of their purchases could be multiplied. With this approach they would actually need to compete directly with *real* purchases.
    • One cool thing that did happen on Top of the Pops was that when Roger Daltrey of The Who was presenting it ...

      He introduced the Village People with the line

      "Backs to the wall !! It's the Village People !!"

    • Because it includes airplay. How this is any indication of popularity with The Kids, I have no idea. DJs play what they're given (except Tony Blackburn []).
  • Illegal dloads (Score:3, Informative)

    by StevenHenderson ( 806391 ) <stevehenderson@gma i l .com> on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @07:55PM (#10133936)
    Until the number of legal downloads FAR surpasses illegal ones, I will get my info from that list []
  • Chart Inflation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by xombo ( 628858 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @08:09PM (#10134018)
    This will help online music sales in the long run but it will cause the same effect as "top sellers" in the CD market. Of course they're top sellers and they will continue to be since they're the most played music on the radio. That's why radio stations should promote new and notable artists instead of the same crap we've heard for the last three months, maybe that would help artists and encourage a better rotation on the air waves.
  • Meanwhile (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ( 782137 ) <joe&joe-baldwin,net> on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @08:37PM (#10134204) Homepage Journal
    All sensible people use Audioscrobbler [] and get their charts. They take into account what people listen to and not what they buy, meaning that it is less skewed towards teenyboppers and one hit wonders (which have low replay values) and fairer towards good bands.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    based on the most popular, legally downloaded tracks in the UK

    But legal downloads account for only a tiny percentage of all downloads. So wouldn't it be more relevant to track all downloads, legal + illegal?

    If I was selling music, wouldn't I would want to know what's actually popular with the masses?

    (Actually, I think I heard that the RIAA companies do obtain illegal-download statistics via back channels for use in their marketing decisions.)

    • If I was selling music, wouldn't I would want to know what's actually popular with the masses?

      If I was SELLING music, I'd be more interested in what's actually popular with people BUYING music. I don't think I'd care much what people who wanted it all for free were interested in.
  • by MichaelCrawford ( 610140 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @10:04PM (#10134848) Homepage Journal
    iRATE radio [] is a GPL'ed MP3 downloader and player. From the page:

    iRATE radio is a collaborative filtering system for music. You rate the tracks it downloads and the server uses your ratings and other people's to guess what you'll like. The tracks are downloaded from websites which allow free and legal downloads of their music.
    According to iRATE's sourceforge statistics [], it has had 15,344 downloads.

    I've been using iRATE for a little over a year now, and have downloaded about a thousand tracks with it. If I were a typical user, then that would suggest that iRATE users all together have downloaded about fifteen million songs, thus far surpassing iTunes' puny one million download total.

    Now, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. Some of iRATE's downloads were existing users fetching updates, and not everyone who uses it keeps using it. But it clearly shows that free, legal downloads are potentially dwarfing the paid downloads being tracked by the BBC.

    Note that the RIAA doesn't get a penny from iRATE's downloads. They can't complain either, because the copyright holders - the musicians themselved - give permission to us to download their tracks when they post them on MP3 hosting services like the Internet Underground Music Archive [].

    I discuss not only iRATE but a lot of other places to get free music downloads in my article Links to Tens of Thousands of Legal Music Downloads []. Share the link with all your buddies who use p2p.

    Thank you for your attention.

    • thus far surpassing iTunes' puny one million download total.

      Emm, wasn't it 100 million songs? They claimed to have sold 5 million songs in Europe in the first 10 weeks....
    • According to iRATE's sourceforge statistics, it has had 15,344 downloads.

      I used iRate a while ago, but I let it lapse because there were certain issues with the version I had that made it a bit awkward to use, and the Debian package hasn't been updated for a very long time. (I attempted compiling it myself a couple of times, but without success.)

      It's a neat idea in principle, but there are at least a couple of problems that caused me not to bother using it after a while. (Actually three if you

  • Anyone in LA or OC remember when they were shitty local band Kara's Flowers and used to open for bands like the Aquabats? [] Congrats on graduating to shitty huge band with a new name and keyboard player. I guess.
  • by commo1 ( 709770 )
    Useless...... Realplayer.....BBC world as well.
  • Look at the labelels behind every song; each one is a monopoly label. The BBC has always been used to control the taste of the masses, and since Radio Coroline, it has consistently failed.

    It will fail again.

    Instead of doing the innovative thing and writing its own software toe take the true pulse of what the public (that pays the soon to be axed licence fee) is listening to, or outsourcing the service out from a legitimate company, they act as servants to the music monopoly. This is being done under the d
  • If you're all done ranting about the quality (or lack thereof) of British music, let's get back to something remotely related to the story...

    I'm sure in the UK, as is the case here, there are still some bands that see the value of giving away complete tracks as samples. This system, which does not count free downloads, penalizes the artist by handicapping their chances for a "hit" if they allow free downloads. Even has some free downloads... check out "Stress" by Jim's Big Ego - awesome. And fre

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