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> What did/does 2017 mean to you as a chart fan?, Discussion of 2017 - a year for momentus change in the Uk charts
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DASHER77
post Dec 18 2017, 12:25 PM
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What did/does 2017 mean to you as a chart fan?

For me, it was the year that the charts died, or more specifically the year I started to lose interest in them. Ed Sheeran's domination of the charts which the incompetant OCC allowed (16 songs in the Top 20) were a sign of how sick the charts were. One of the great loves of mine was to compare chart achievements historically, but most chart records now don't really hold any gravitas or count for anything as you cannot compare Sheeran's 16 songs in the top 20 (most were album tracks) to the dominance of the Beatles, Presley or Madonna as they didn't have a level playing field (they couldn't dominate the charts like that but they surely would have done as their popularity was immense). My point is the OCC should have seen this coming (we all did), but they allowed it. They corrected the imbalance way too late, resulting in Sheeran's chart achievements being muddied and without credibility, imo.

Whatís different in 2017 is that the dominance of streaming rewards passivity Ė repeat listening Ė rather than active discovery. Streaming is a measure of a personís available listening time, which concentrates the vote into the hands of a certain group who love playing the same tracks over and over. This is the era of the bland. 2017 saw very few exciting artists for me, and for me, following an exciting artist is what also makes a great chart. The problem wasnít just the charts, it is what streaming is doing to music itself.

This isn't a Sheeran bashing post btw - I could be writing about Drake or Adele. Do I like Ed Sheeran's music - absolutely not, it's bland, calculated and for me no better than bad Westlife/Phil Collins work - but I do respect that this is a good era for him. However his desperation to score the Christmas #1 is pathetic. His chart achievements for me however, are without credibility because of terrible chart rules.

Music I did like in 2017 was Kelela, Goldfrapp, Migos, Margo Price and St. Vincent.

In summary, 2017 was when I started to stop caring about the charts, which is so very sad. I don't have a soultion, it's not my job to, but thankfully, I do still LOVE good music. I do so hope I'm wrong and that the chart changes made in 2017 address the problems of streaming, but I suspect the general public's waning interest in the charts cannot be stopped now.

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Supercell
post Dec 18 2017, 05:18 PM
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I have to agree with some of those comments.

The chart right now for me doesn't represent anything and I've almost lost complete interest. The creation of ACR is what killed it for me as it just makes a mockery of the chart. All it is now is a random collection of songs that aren't in numerical order of the most popular/streamed. They would have been better either leaving it as it was or bringing in a sensible rule where they prevent ridiculous amounts of streaming on an individual basis causing songs to stay afloat for months on end.

The Spotify posters I've seen lately highlight the issue of streaming massively, where people have listened to a certain song 4,000 times over several months. Whilst these are the extremes I'm sure a large number of people have racked up 200/300 listens of their favourite song over the course of a few weeks. It's no wonder something stays in the top 10 for 4 months at a time when that kind of streaming is going on and the OCC have never tried to address that issue head on. They created something that they don't even follow half the time, completely manipulated by the record labels and gives a faux shelf life to singles in an era where there is no shelf life and music can be consumed no matter how old.


This post has been edited by Supercell: Dec 18 2017, 05:20 PM
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T Boy
post Dec 18 2017, 05:50 PM
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I donít think Iíve been a chart fan in 2017 because my interest died a couple of years ago, probably when streaming was added. The whole things seems very artificial now and everything used to be much simpler. I still watch out for my faves but they never last long these days with the exception of Pink.
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Hans
post Dec 18 2017, 07:24 PM
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2016 showed a lot of symptoms of decline and we saw it at its worst earlier this year when Ed's entire album charted (among a few other albums filling the chart). They tried to address it and while that had some of the desired effect, it wasn't the perfect solution. They need to look at ACR - when it is actually appropriate for songs to move to ACR, and whether a stagnation of ratio decline is more necessary.

I'm still interested in the chart or I wouldn't be here posting about it most days of the year, but it isn't what it used to be. I don't think it ever will be of that quality again but I'll remain faithful and interested to the extent I can be.
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TheSnake
post Dec 18 2017, 07:37 PM
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This year was very disappointing musically in the charts in general for me, the dance music wasn't that great imo overall, a lot of it watered down or too poppy (with the exception of 'Cola'). '17' I haven't been able to fully get into really, although parts of it I do like. 'Instruction' was good, if a bit too poppy with the Demi vocal.

Urban dominated but sadly a lot of the urban tracks are not that interesting imo into terms of production, mostly minimal backing tracks, I assume to sound 'cool' sounding. 'Man's Not Hot' was excellent though as it used more interesting production, same with 'Mi Gente' and I did quite like 'Wild Thoughts', although it took me a while to considering I was used to the brilliant original Santana/Product G&B song Maria the guitar solo was on. 'Hurtin Me' was good too I thought.

Some of the pure pop was good, 'Havana' and 'New Rules' were two good number 1s this year.

Indie wasn't in the charts much once again but 'Hard Times' by Paramore was a highlight, 'Wall Of Glass' was OK but was too drop based for my liking, almost like it was influenced by modern dance music.


This post has been edited by ❄The Snow.: Dec 19 2017, 03:29 PM
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Chez Wombat
post Dec 18 2017, 07:46 PM
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I agree with a lot of the points already stated really! I'm still interested in the charts to an extent and will check up on them when I can, but I am finding the music just isn't to my taste these days and ACR has lead to it becoming far too artificial, the main drawback for me is there is so little diversity in the chart - a select few artists dominate everything and anything and it all just goes along the same style as pop/urban/future bass hybrid with an additional latin bandwagon going around now, it just gets boring.

I still follow when I can, I'm enjoying this week's Christmas chart with Wham! coming back even though it's now looking like a foregone conclusion that Ed Sheeran will have it, but the loss of finding any new music I enjoy regularly combined with a rather slow/artificial chart has dampened my enthusiasm. 2017 I suppose will be remembered as the year I realised that fully after still somewhat going in and out in 2016.
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Bjork
post Dec 18 2017, 08:09 PM
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amazed you all critizise acr so much, i know there would have been better solutions i.e, adding a cap
but better acr than nothing
the charts were much more artificial before acr was introduced, streams have to be capped and cannot count forever, you cannot still give sales after a song if ypou've listened 828 times, and acr work as an alternative to a cap, a streaming chart without any cap or penalty, that would be an aritificial chart imho
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fiesta
post Dec 19 2017, 01:14 PM
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Do chart peak positions mean anything anymore? Take for instance the OCC list of Eminem biggest sellers, a song peaking at 73 is out selling a number one. It seems a bit of a mockery, back in the days of physicals you might get a number 2,3,or rarely a number 4 out selling a number one but never with as much disparity as 73 -1.
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Hans
post Dec 19 2017, 01:50 PM
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QUOTE(fiesta @ Dec 19 2017, 01:14 PM) *
Do chart peak positions mean anything anymore? Take for instance the OCC list of Eminem biggest sellers, a song peaking at 73 is out selling a number one. It seems a bit of a mockery, back in the days of physicals you might get a number 2,3,or rarely a number 4 out selling a number one but never with as much disparity as 73 -1.

It's hard to compare a number 1 selling in physicals only (plus whatever they've counted in other formats which will be minimal given its lack of promotion in those eras) with a number 73 from the digital era. Sales were criminally low when "Just Lose It" was number 1 for instance. Some absolute classics from that mid 00s (03-07) era don't stand up to your sales of an average song these days.
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SM351
post Dec 19 2017, 01:59 PM
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I think this year the charts have benefited from the ACR inclusion, but I think for the charts to continue being interesting, they'll have to manipulate chart data more and more as a compromise. I think it would be nice if streaming services such as Spotify did more to increase chart turnover (e.g. capping number of days a certain track can stay on a big playlist, or a new top 50 which uses ACR style rules, alongside the normal top 50).

However, I think it must be celebrated that the music industry is recovering, and many people are finally for music again. And this should be celebrated, despite the less exciting chart climate.
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N-S
post Dec 19 2017, 03:11 PM
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In just three words: 2016 was worse.
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Rush
post Dec 19 2017, 03:25 PM
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QUOTE(fiesta @ Dec 20 2017, 12:14 AM) *
Do chart peak positions mean anything anymore? Take for instance the OCC list of Eminem biggest sellers, a song peaking at 73 is out selling a number one. It seems a bit of a mockery, back in the days of physicals you might get a number 2,3,or rarely a number 4 out selling a number one but never with as much disparity as 73 -1.
It's important to note that 'Till I Collapse', that #73 hit, wasn't even a single at the time (2002), so it didn't have a chance to chart until much later. But even if it had been a single and still charted low, there's been 15 years for its popularity to build up - to the point that it's now one of the most popular songs of its decade on Spotify. It's similar to how plenty of classics from past decades didn't chart high, but have stuck around while many #1 hits haven't. The significant difference between physicals and digital/streaming in this regard is that, without the limits of shelf life, long-term popularity is now able to be accounted for in all-time totals.

That said, it's possible you'd find the same thing of low peakers outselling high charters in recent hits too. For example, I don't have the numbers, but I wouldn't be surprised if Post Malone's #26 hit 'Congratulations' has outsold Harry Styles' #1 hit 'Sign Of The Times'. That's basically because those 2 songs have had completely different paths: Harry Styles' popularity and hype meant his song made an immediate impact, leaving few people to discover it months later, whereas 'Congratulations' was a breakthrough hit that started small, and slowly reached more and more people, further helped when he hit #1 with a following single. As inconvenient as it can be to not have peak positions neatly line up with total sales, it's a more honest reflection of popularity than having every song conform to a 2-3 month shelf life and similarly paced chart run. In the physical era, 'Congratulations' might have just peaked at #60 then quickly disappeared.
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PeteFromLeeds
post Dec 19 2017, 04:09 PM
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QUOTE(N-S @ Dec 19 2017, 03:11 PM) *
In just three words: 2016 was worse.

Exactly. You can't moan about 2017 when there's been at least one new entry every week, and some weeks there's been eight new entries, all from different artists. Yes, there were some long runners, but there wasn't a 15-week #1 with such low sales as there was last year. 2017 marks the beginning of the charts turning for the better, however long it may take for that to happen.
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Rob S~
post Dec 19 2017, 04:37 PM
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yeah it's certainly better than last years as it isn't as slow moving which ACR is to be applauded for, also with the extra new entries than we'd normally get however... I wish ACR was more gradual as these big drops are getting bigger and ridiculous looking and feels in no way a fair decrease. I think if they'd put more songs even long runners on a gradual ratio change as opposed to immediately on 300:0 then that'd be much better. of course the naysayers will always say it's manipulated and so on and it would be a fake chart but gradual ratio change would at least save songs from having stupidly absurd chart runs.

musically size I think it's been a decent year for music albeit lots of urban which I'm not a fan of aside from the few. the quality overall though has been really good I think.


This post has been edited by Rob S: Dec 19 2017, 04:39 PM
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TheSnake
post Dec 19 2017, 04:41 PM
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I think the chart now is better in terms of being more interesting with the ACR speeding things up a bit than in 2016 where it was far too slow imo.
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Cody Sabathy
post Dec 19 2017, 04:57 PM
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They should really revise ACR because those chart runs make me want to gouge my eyes out.
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Dircadirca
post Dec 19 2017, 05:23 PM
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I have to say, I rather dislike ACR on principle of making a borderline meaningless chart (I love "Wild Thoughts", but it's a #2 hit in AU/NZ/US as it should be, and only a #1 in the UK because of an arbitrary rule that was introduced while "Despacito" was at #1 that caused it to fall even though it was the highest selling & most streamed song of the week) but if it does have one good use, it's cleaning out what I think of as chart inertia fodder. The way Spotify rules the charts now mean that 95% of the time, if a song is to reach the charts, it needs either a big push, or to be a moderate-to-big named artist with at least some push. What we get with it is that a lot of C-List songs are lucky to break the top 50 in their first couple of weeks, and then that gives them the momentum to stick around for months, even though digital sales will have utterly collapsed and I'm convinced no one even cares about the song anymore. "Signs" by Drake should justly have vanished from the chart in like a fortnight as a lousy offering he didn't bother promoting, but by sheer inertia, it stuck around for months until ACR gracefully kicked it to the curb. There are so many more interesting songs that are engaging people more actively that aren't hitting the charts (or are only doing so artificially) because there's so much fodder that has to have their seemingly eternal playlist spotlight.

So 2017 to me is a year where the chart's definition of popular is one that blurs my perception of what it actually means. While I find the charts inherently interesting, they've never been less useful to me.
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AcerBen
post Dec 19 2017, 06:04 PM
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I think the chart has lost its integrity with the introduction of streaming. Streaming has benefits for the music industry, and I agree that it had to be factored into the chart, but I don't like the way they combine sales and streams as if they are the same thing. They need to come up with a way that uses the streaming data in a more intelligent way. With so many people streaming from playlists, we can't trust that streaming figures actually reflect popularity. It's only slightly better than airplay in that sense. We've seen records buy their way on to "Hot Hits UK", spend 3 months in the top 100 and score a silver certification in the process.

I also think that it's a real shame that for artists who aren't getting on to these playlists, it has become so much more difficult to make the top 40/100. Yes, new acts are still sometimes managing to break through, but it's a lot more difficult than it used to be. It was a lot easier to promote a single for months, build up some support, and hopefully 8,000 people will download it the week it comes out and it makes the top 40. And from there you can hope to build a bigger profile and fanbase and hopefully gain some momentum. Now, you have to reach hundreds of thousands of people to get millions of streams to make the chart.

QUOTE(Dircandydircane @ Dec 19 2017, 06:23 PM) *
I have to say, I rather dislike ACR on principle of making a borderline meaningless chart (I love "Wild Thoughts", but it's a #2 hit in AU/NZ/US as it should be, and only a #1 in the UK because of an arbitrary rule that was introduced while "Despacito" was at #1 that caused it to fall even though it was the highest selling & most streamed song of the week) but if it does have one good use, it's cleaning out what I think of as chart inertia fodder. The way Spotify rules the charts now mean that 95% of the time, if a song is to reach the charts, it needs either a big push, or to be a moderate-to-big named artist with at least some push. What we get with it is that a lot of C-List songs are lucky to break the top 50 in their first couple of weeks, and then that gives them the momentum to stick around for months, even though digital sales will have utterly collapsed and I'm convinced no one even cares about the song anymore. "Signs" by Drake should justly have vanished from the chart in like a fortnight as a lousy offering he didn't bother promoting, but by sheer inertia, it stuck around for months until ACR gracefully kicked it to the curb. There are so many more interesting songs that are engaging people more actively that aren't hitting the charts (or are only doing so artificially) because there's so much fodder that has to have their seemingly eternal playlist spotlight.

So 2017 to me is a year where the chart's definition of popular is one that blurs my perception of what it actually means. While I find the charts inherently interesting, they've never been less useful to me.


I agree that ACR is arbitrary, and they need to come up with a better way of doing it. But since streaming is now part of the sales chart, we have to accept that it's no longer possible just to add each sale/stream up and say "this is the chart", because adding sales to streams together like that is in itself meaningless. We have to work out what we want the chart to reflect and keep tweaking the rules until we get something that does mean something. For me, the song that deserves to be #1 isn't necessarily the song that has racked up the most streams that week.


This post has been edited by AcerBen: Dec 19 2017, 06:07 PM
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Bjork
post Dec 19 2017, 06:10 PM
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In this sense I think Billboard was smarter and never tried to convert streams to sales, they just converts it to points, which I think it's what the occ should have done from the very beginning, having a chart where who gets more points, gets the #1 and no one talks about sales anymore.
I also think that the occ cheated a bit in the beginning cos they came up first with the 1:100 ratio and they had a rationale to explain how to convert it into sales, saying that was the estimation of how much money a stream represented, but then they changed the ratio completely randomly so sure the 1:100 ratio was made up
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GTH
post Dec 19 2017, 06:20 PM
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It has been messy with all the rule changes, though I am glad we had some put in. After Edís whole album charted top 20 it was quite clear something had to be put in place.

Hopefully there wonít be any more changes this year still.

Really hoping album sales stabilise as the sales for those have been painful to see most of the year. If it wasnít for Ed and Ragíníbone man we would be looking at around 500k for best selling album of the year (with streams!)

Only other thing of note is Carly Rae Jepsen not making top 40 with Cut To The Feeling as chart travesty of the year.
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