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Gig venue record sales to be included in the charts

By | Published on Tuesday 22 September 2015

Official Charts Company

Albums sold at gigs will soon count towards the UK Official Albums Chart as a result of a new initiative called Lightning Live which will allow venue-based record sales to be chart-returned for the first time. Which is good news for artists employing the “get em while they’re on a high, get em while they’re drunk” approach to shifting records.

Omar Maskatiya, COO at the Official Charts Company, says that the company has developed the Lightning Live platform after “approaches from both independent and major labels, who are increasingly using live events as a route to get their products to fans and new audiences”. He adds that “we strive constantly to ensure that the Official Charts reflects and responds to consumer behaviour – and this move, following just a few months after the integration of streams, further underlines this strategy”.

The move is likely to be welcomed by artists and managers as well as labels, many of whom have been pushing for merch stall record sales to be counted towards the charts for years. Though, if you don’t trust the merch stall manager to accurately submit his or her data, worry not, the OCC has it covered, and everything is secure.

“Lightning Live uses a simple password-protected web interface to allow live retailers to submit sales data” the chart compiling firm says, “which is then checked by Official Charts and its nominated research partner Millward Brown”.

It goes on: “[Venue-based] retailers are required to submit a pre-event inventory report, along with full details of the concert, summary of capacity, tickets sold, before then submitting details of sales achieved. Millward Brown will cross-reference with existing data reports to ensure sales fall within accepted sales patterns – any suspect data will not be included in the Official Chart survey”.

So no running the merch stall yourself, Mr Manager, and mysteriously selling 20,000 units at your pub gig venue on a rainy Tuesday night.