New entries to the chart world

With Global pulling The Big Top 40 from all commercial stations other than Heart and Capital, groups including Bauer and Wireless have created their own chart shows to fill the three-hour gap. But do listeners want a chart show and are they relevant even relevant these days?

While the presenters who are hosting these new chart shows are excellent choices, the overall concept of a chart show doesn’t sound as engaging as it used to back in the days of the Pepsi Chart Show and hit40uk. The urge to record your favourite tune on a cassette has gone and most start to sound the same, week on week, month on month, regardless of the programme title and presenter hosting it.

Can you honestly tell me who the UK’s official number one is, or what it was in July 2018? Probably not. I remember the days when you used to get shed loads of new entries as well as non-movers and songs going up and down the chart in equal measure. Today, because of the popularity of streaming, it’s pretty much of a muchness. 

Take a look at the Official Singles Chart, currently aired Friday afternoons on BBC Radio 1, which in itself is an out of the box idea to remove itself from a very diluted Sunday afternoon full of charts. In the chart of Friday 4thJanuary 2019, there were only three new entries, 11 climbers and no fallers. Those 11 climbers are likely the result of Christmas songs leaving the top 40 and it wouldn’t surprise me if they stayed in the chart for the next couple of months.

With many of the chart shows basing themselves on airplay, downloads and number of streams, it’s likely that although they will sound different in terms of imaging, the content and order of songs will surely remain the same?

Personally, I don’t think there’s a need for these chart shows on all Commercial stations these days. Does a Heart demographic listener for example, really want to hear songs that are usually played on Capital and clearly don’t fit into turning up the feel good? They could easily tune into Capital if they wanted to hear the chart. 

But if listeners don’t want a chart, what do you replace to fill the three-hour gap? non-stop music, or special programming? I would say if your average listener doesn’t care for a chart, they would much rather listen to a local presenter host a music-based programme. Or, if you must have a chart show, don’t take one from America as some stations have opted to do; at least consider the possibility of having an unsigned chart for local artists.

It will be interesting to see, if in six months’ time, any of the new chart shows that have emerged climb in popularity, remain the same or fall off air, in place of something a little more meaningful. 

Let’s see what happens within the next year. It was much simpler in 2018, you had the Official Chart on BBC Radio 1 and The Big Top 40 commercial chart on most commercial stations across the UK. Hopefully the latter will return in some form, or maybe stations will realise there’s more to Sunday afternoon radio than just airing a chart show.

Current UK Chart Shows include:

Wireless Radio – Total Access Chart (Sundays 4pm)
The Big Top 40 – Capital & Heart (Sundays 4pm)
Bauer – The UK Chart Show (Sundays 4pm)
BBC Radio 1 Chart Show (Fridays 4pm)

Published:
Sunday 6th January 2019

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