Scottish music industry figures have spoken out following the ditching of the Scottish Singles Chart by the Official Chart Company.
The first Scottish Singles chart was published in 1991, adding in digital sales in 2009, and have provided a useful way of viewing different trends on music listening north of the border – as well as being a useful leg-up for bands able to count one of their releases as a hit in their own country.
Since the news broke, a petition has been established by Chief Radio, an online station dedicated to playing Scottish unsigned artists.
They said: “It’s not just losing any insight into what Scotland is listening to musically that will be lost now, but this chart offers bands an opportunity to gain some recognition and a platform to get noticed. Through these charts bands are discovered and have the potential of achieving some chart success.”
According to @officialcharts: “…there are simply new geographical data limitations which means the necessary data to create a Scottish Chart is sadly no longer available. It is out of our hands unfortunately.”
— Jim Gellatly (@JimGellatly) December 22, 2020
Clash magazine asked “It certainly seems a strange move, with the Official Charts having added genre specific rundowns – the Afrobeats Chart, the Folk Chart – earlier in the year.”
DJ and journalist Jim Gellatly spotted the sudden disappearance of the chart, saying: “It’s very disappointing @officialcharts seem to have ditched the Scottish Chart.
It was a great platform for acts like @TheSnuts @LukeLaVolpe and @joshua_grantt to boast their profiles with No.1 hits early in their careers.”
Joshua Grant agreed, tweeting: “It was inspiring to see the likes of Luke La Volpe, Gerry Cinnamon and The Snuts top the Scottish singles chart and this is what spurred me on to do the same”.
The Snuts (pictured) had one of the last home-grown Number 1s on the chart in their October single release ‘Always’.
And The B (@thebmusic) described reaching #47 in September with ‘Bad Poetry’ as their musical highlight, adding “I emailed @officialcharts asking why it’s gone… and got the reply… “data limitations”.
Chief Radio were similarly informed that “a major digital retailer has stopped supplying regional information”. However, for some reason this restriction does not apply to the Scottish Albums Chart, which, the Official Chart Company say, will continue to be published.
So the question remains – which digital retailer is withholding the necessary information, and would the data from other digital retailers, along with physical sales, not still be valid? And are Scottish figures even being incorporated into the overall UK chart?
The Official Charts company have not replied to our request for further information.
You can sign the petition to being back the Scottish Singles Chart now.