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Radio 1 Chart Show to move to Friday as global release day kicks in

By | Published on Tuesday 24 March 2015

Official Singles Chart

As expected, Radio 1’s ‘Official Chart Show’ is moving to a new day so that it can still be the first place that the new UK singles chart is revealed when the much previously reported global release day kicks in and new tracks start to go live on a Friday morning.

From July, the big top 40 countdown will air between 4-6pm on Friday afternoon as part of the Greg James drive time show, though with the slot being an hour shorter than the current Sunday tea time chart programme the focus will fall more on the top 20. That way there’s still an hour free between 6-7pm to play some good old dance anthems, because that’s what the kids really like.

Though those kids who do dig the charts, but who prefer their lists of popular music in a visual form, will be able to tune in to the all new ‘Official Chart Show’ on telly channel CBBC, which will run alongside the radio programme with an “energetic mix of pop, gossip, UGC interactive features and fast-moving entertainment”. So, there’s a thing.

And a good thing, I should add, for the pop pluggers who are constantly seeking new places to push their shiny records and singing stars. Perhaps now they’ll all stop moaning on all the time about “when is the BBC going to bring back ‘Top Of The Pops’?” Never, that’s when, but look, here’s a music-focused kids show instead. Now shut up.

The schedule shift on Radio 1 could also generate a new audience for the chart because, while the Top 40 countdown is basically being subsumed by another radio programme, it’s a show that regular scores ratings four times as high as the standalone chart slot on Sundays. It remains to be seen if that gives the chart a greater listener base and more relevance amongst mainstream music fans. Or if it just scares people away from Radio 1 drive on a Friday.

But whatever, at least it means record label execs will now be able to call it a day at 4pm each Friday afternoon, crack open some beers, turn on the radio, and claim they’re “assessing current market trends” and “investigating the latest consumer engagement analytics”. And given the charts have always been most important to the people who work in the record business, why shouldn’t consuming it fall into the working week?

So, good news all round then. And now some quotes…

Radio 1 boss Ben Cooper: “The days of recording your favourite songs from the chart onto cassette are long gone and Radio 1 now operates in an instant digital world. So when the global release day changes to a Friday we will also move ‘The Official Chart’, continuing our commitment to stay relevant to young music fans of today and tomorrow”.

Future chart show host Greg James: “It’s great that Radio 1 can make big statements like this. Radio has been under scrutiny over the last few years to keep up with the internet, but with the popularity of our content online as well as out of the speakers we are proving that we’re more relevant than ever. We can react quicker than TV and most online outlets so the reality is the oldest medium has become the most vital and strangely the most reactive. ‘The Chart’ must feel like it’s providing news, not just confirmation of something the listeners already knew. It’s a privilege to host it and even better that I don’t have to work Sundays”.

Charts chief Martin Talbot: “This is an exciting new era for the Official Singles Chart – following the integration of streams – with the move to a new, more high profile slot. BBC Radio 1 has been the home of the UK’s Official Singles Chart for more than 40 years and we are delighted that they are as excited about future plans for the chart as we are”.