The OCC produces its charts by gathering and combining sales data from retailers through market researchers Millward Brown. OCC claims to cover 99% of the singles market and 95% of the album market, and aims to collect data from any retailer who sells more than 100 chart items per week.
The OCC is operated jointly by the British Phonographic Industry and the Entertainment Retailers Association ERA (formerly the British Association of Record Dealers BARD). Since 1 July 1997, CIN and then OCC have compiled the official charts. Prior to this date, the charts were produced by a succession of market research companies, beginning with the British Market Research Bureau in 1969, and later by Gallup. Before the production of the "official" charts, various less comprehensive charts were produced, most notably by newspaper/magazine New Musical Express (NME) which began its chart in 1952; some of these older charts (including NME's earliest singles charts) are now part of the official OCC canon.
All of the OCC's charts are published weekly on Sunday nights, and cover sales for the preceding week, Sunday to Saturday. Genre-specific charts include UK Dance Chart, UK Indie Chart, UK R&B Chart, UK Rock Chart and the Asian Download Chart. The Scottish Singles and Albums Chart ― and the former Welsh Singles and Albums Chart ― appears in listings within the Official Charts Company. It reflects how sales towards the UK Singles Chart and UK Albums Chart are faring in Scotland. The Welsh Singles and Album Chart served the same purpose in Wales. It also charts the UK DVD Chart and UK Budget Album Chart. From May 2012, a new chart, the UK's first Official Streaming Chart was launched counting audio streams from streaming services Spotify, Deezer, We7, Napster, amongst others. The chart is the first of its kind to rank streams from ad-funded and subscription services and the Official Streaming Chart Top 100 is now published weekly on the Official Charts Company website, and in music industry trade magazine Music Week.
On 5 September 2008, the Official UK Charts Company rebranded itself as The Official Charts Company and introduced a new company logo.