UK Independent Singles and Album Breakers Charts

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The UK Independent Singles Breakers Chart and the UK Independent Album Breakers Chart are music charts based on UK sales of singles and albums released on independent record labels by musical artists who have never made the UK top 20.[1] It is compiled weekly by the Official Charts Company (OCC),[2] and is first published on their official website on Friday evenings.[3][4] The chart was first launched on 29 June 2009,[5] and, according to Martin Talbot, managing director of the OCC, would have benefited acts such as Friendly Fires and Grizzly Bear.


The UK Indie Breakers Chart runs alongside the similar UK Indie Chart.[6] The UK Indie Chart was created in 1978 by Cherry Red Records founder Iain McNay,[7] and, like the breakers chart, lists only albums and singles released by independent record labels in the UK. Until June 2009, a single was classed as "indie" if it was shipped by a distribution service that was independent of the four major record companies: EMI, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group.[8] Following discussion at the 2008 annual general meeting of the British Phonographic Industry,[9] this definition was altered to include only releases from labels that were at least fifty per cent owned by a record company that was not one of the main four.[10] This prevented major record companies from qualifying for the chart by outsourcing the shipping of their singles and albums to smaller distribution services.[11] At the same time, the UK Indie Breakers Chart was also unveiled, with the objective that it would allow acts signed to independent labels to "reach the broader public".[12] Any single or album released by an independent label can quality for the breakers charts, provided that the artist has never previously had a Top 20 hit in the mainstream charts.[13]

The new indie charts went live on 29 June 2009;[14] at the time, sales from independent labels contributed towards approximately a fifth of sales of albums and singles in the UK.[15] The new charts were received positively by McNay, who remarked that they would, once again, "be genuinely independent charts which can help measure the success of, and promote independent records".[16] Stewart Green, commercial director of the independent record company Beggars Group also praised the new charts. He stated: "This will provide a fascinating snapshot of those slow-burners that do not achieve instant success but sell consistently well over a period of time."[17] Allison Schnackenberg of Southern Records was more critical, remarking that the "fifty per cent or more" rule was "blurring the lines to the point that the word 'independent' will be meaningless to the general public".[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Youngs, Ian (15 June 2009). "Rising indie stars get new charts". London: BBC News. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "The Charts We Compile". London: Official Charts Company. 2010. Retrieved 6 December 2011. ... Indie (Singles & Albums) ... 
  3. ^ "Independent Albums Breakers Top 20". London: Official Charts Company. 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "Independent Singles Breakers Top 20". London: Official Charts Company. 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  5. ^ Fletcher, Alex (15 June 2009). "Independent Charts to be relaunched". London: Digital Spy. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  6. ^ Durr, Leanne (15 June 2009). "Official Charts Company Re-Launch UK's Independent Charts". Liverpool: Glasswerk National. Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  7. ^ "New chart rules benefit smaller record companies". Metro. London: Associated Newspapers. 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  8. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie hits: 1980-1989 : the complete U.K. independent charts (singles & albums). London: Cherry Red. ISBN 978-0-9517206-9-1. OCLC 38292499. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  9. ^ Cardew, Ben (7 July 2008). Williams, Paul, ed. "Independent labels to top BPI agenda". Music Week. London: United Business Media (07.07.08). ISSN 0265-1548. OCLC 60620772. Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  10. ^ McNicholas, Conor, ed. (15 June 2009). "New independent music charts to launch". NME. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  11. ^ "New 'breakers' charts launch to help indie music acts rock on". The Standard. Hong Kong: Sing Tao News. 16 June 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  12. ^ News desk (15 June 2009). "UK to gain independent charts". London: Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  13. ^ ClashMusic (15 June 2009). Harper, Simon, ed. "New UK Charts Launched". Clash. London. ISSN 1743-0801. OCLC 266993173. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  14. ^ Michaels, Sean (16 June 2009). "Independent music charts to be relaunched". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media. ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 476290235. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  15. ^ Collett-White, Mike (15 June 2009). "New chart to boost indie acts". London: Reuters. Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  16. ^ "Independent charts to be re-launched, supported by new "Breakers" charts" (PDF). London: British Phonographic Industry. 15 June 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  17. ^ a b Pattison, Louis (17 June 2009). "What do indie labels make of the new independent charts?". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media. ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 476290235. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 

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