Back in the 1990s, there was HitMusic, a sister publication of Music Week, which provided chartwatchers with the full top 200 singles and albums charts. That was a great resource for those interested in the charts, and for those interested in lesser-known music. There was then, and still is, a large amount of music released in the UK, but a lot of that does not reach the top 40, or not even the top 75. That is not because that music is not good. It just, for some reason, has not yet been discovered by the general public. More and more often, music that fails to reach the top 75 gets re-released 12 or 18 months later with a lot more exposure, and suddenly becomes a top 40 hit. There are also a lot of sublime songs that reach the lower regions of the chart, and never get a second chance. HitMusic provided vital information to those that were interested in that sort of lesser-known music.
Then, in May 2001, the owners of Music Week decided, in their infinite wisdom, to axe HitMusic. No more top 200 information...
Getting the full charts every week directly from The Official UK Charts Company is a costly business. It's OK if you run a serious business in the music industry, but not feasible for chartwatchers and music-lovers. That is where UKChartsPlus comes in. UKChartsPlus is run by a group of four chartwatchers, who give some of their spare time to providing others with the chart information they want at a more realistic price. We have licensed the charts for publication from The Official UK Charts Company and publish them every Wednesday evening, with a lot of additional information, as a PDF-format newsletter. The subscription fees we charge just about cover the costs of the license fees. We don't charge for the time we put into producing it. We only do it because we want to see those charts every week. If we didn't give our time to producing UKChartsPlus, we would not get to see the full charts and neither would any of the other chartwatchers around the world!
Does UKChartsPlus compete with Music Week? Not really... Yes, there is a good deal of overlap in content between Music Week and UKChartsPlus. But Music Week provides a lot of industry information and a few extra charts. Their charts are shorter, and not all charts appear every week. For real chartwatchers, that is not enough. We want all the charts, in their entirety, every week of the year!
The aim of UKChartsPlus is to give extensive, complete and accurate information, consistently. That means the same charts, in full format, every week of the year. That, for example, also means all the charts over the Christmas period. Currently, UKChartsPlus contains the Top 100 Singles, Top 200 Artist Albums, Top 50 Compilation Albums, Top 50 Budget Albums, various genre charts, Year-to-date Top 100 charts and the Top 200 Radio Airplay, Top 100 TV Airplay, as well as BPI awards information. UKChartsPlus also gives extensive information about the past chart achievements of the artists that have new entries in the singles chart in the New Entries Spotlight, which also extends to the first 100 Albums* - not forgetting our superb "Index"* which lets you see at a glance where your favourite singles and albums are across our range of charts. That, in total, is a lot of information, every week. [* - exclusive to the "Full" edition of UKChartsPlus.]
So, if you want industry information and background, then subscribe to Music Week. If you want detailed charts, subscribe to UKChartsPlus.
I hope you will join us in our little venture to make the Top 200 charts available to the people that want them. Subscribe now and (from the next available issue) you will start to receive UKChartsPlus, every week.
The following table shows how ChartsPlus has developed and finally became "UKChartsPlus" when relaunched w/e 10/07/2010. Remember that all issues of ChartsPlus / UKChartsPlus are available for purchase, click here for details:
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