Notion of “independent” gets redefined, sorta.
By Blurt Staff
Semi-big news out of Britain today.
Okay, maybe it’s not that big. It’s not even all that pertinent to folks here
But to those of us who do harbor a general fascination with the British music
industry, whose chart system in particular has a long, tangled, colorful
history, it’s still news.
The UK’s Official Charts Company today announces
that it will re-launch the UK’s
Official Independent Charts, along with the addition of two new charts to
support independent labels – brand new Independent Singles and Albums Breakers
Charts. The Independent Charts – which have had a major re-vamp via a new set
of criteria, focusing on independent ownership – and Breakers Charts will be
officially launched on Monday 29th June.
The Independent Charts are a
30-year-old institution in the UK,
supporting music from independently financed, produced and distributed artists
and labels. This marks the first time in their three decades of history (the
charts were first launched in the UK in 1978 by Iain McNay, the chairman of
British independent label, Cherry Red Records), that the UK’s Independent
Charts will have a major refresh.
The new look charts, based
on new criteria for independence; replace the former focus on independent
distribution. Under the new rules, a download or CD will be eligible for the
Official Independent Charts if it is released on a label which is 50% or more
owned by an independent (non-major) company, irrespective of the distribution
channel through which it is shipped or delivered.
They will be accompanied by
the new Independent Breakers charts. The new Breakers Charts are designed to
reflect and bolster music from the independent sector’s newer, developing acts,
by remaining open only to artists which have not previously scored a Top 20 hit
in the UK – in the first few months of this year, they would have benefited
critical darlings including Bon Iver, Friendly Fires, Patrick Wolf and The