OFFICIAL FOLK ALBUMS CHART

The Official Folk Albums Chart is a monthly chart compiled by the Official Charts Company, produced by English Folk Expo and presented by the Manchester Folk Festival.

We’ve collated some information about the charts including FAQs and also a page of handy links and downloads.

There are even more FAQs including a video explaining the process of registering your music for inclusion in the charts on our EFEx Digital platform for Artists and Music Industry.

There’s a lot of text and information on this page, but we’ve created this handy summary of the charts in a short video below.

Our top tip is that if you are releasing an album, when you know the release date you should email chartrules@officialcharts.com to tell them, and that you would like it to be categorised as ‘folk’ for this chart.

If you’re an artist featuring in this chart, we can provide you with social media assets. Please get in touch with us and we’ll send them over.

FAQS

How are the charts compiled?

The charts data is compiled by Kantar. Kantar is the market research company currently contracted by Official Charts Company to collect sales data. The chart compilation system employs the largest market research sample currently in use in the UK and is one of the most sophisticated chart systems in the world. Kantar maintains a large database, the Product Master File, which details all known physical and digital audio and video releases. They have a list of approved physical retailers, online retailers, download and streaming platforms. Each month, the data from these retailers is collated and sent to the Official Charts Company who process it and compile the charts.

How are the sales calculated?

Sales are calculated through working with Chart Retailers. Information about these can be found here: https://www.officialcharts.com/getting-into-the-charts/the-chart-retailers/

Chart Retailers report their data on sales, downloads and streams to the Official Charts Company who use this data to compile a Defined Universe Sales (DUS) figure. The data is collected over a fixed period which changes throughout the year, usually incorporating the 4 or 5 weeks prior to release. You should look at the Chart Calendar to determine the best date to release music in order to give you the maximum period of time to sell albums for that months chart. For example, in order to feature in the April 2020 chart, published on Monday 6th April 2020, the period when data was collected for this chart was from Friday 21st February 2020 to Thursday 26th March inclusive.

What constitutes an album?

This is done through price, track numbers and album length. An album is 5 or more tracks OR more than 25 minutes in length, and which must meet the fixed minimum pricing for physical and digital sales. Full details can be found in the downloadable pdf on this web page: https://www.officialcharts.com/getting-into-the-charts/meeting-the-chart-rules/

How often are the charts published?

The Official Folk Albums Chart is published at 4pm on the first Monday of each month. If that Monday is a UK bank holiday, this will happen 24 hours later. The charts are published on the Official Charts Company website, the English Folk Expo website and via an email to English Folk Expo’s mailing list.

Is there a singles chart as well as an albums chart?

The folk chart is a monthly album chart. Whilst the Official Charts Company run a range of charts including singles, weekly and other genres, the folk one is for albums and is produced monthly only. However once your music is registered to be reported to the Official Charts Company, it is possible to appear in any charts for which it is eligible, including the main weekly Official Singles Chart.

Are all types of folk music considered for the Folk Charts? (Americana, blues, folk-rock, alt-folk, etc.)

Yes, the Official Charts Company have a team who review all new releases and decide on genre. To be eligible for this chart, you must be from the UK or Ireland and perform music which could fit into the broad category of ‘folk’. You can get in touch with them to make a request to be included in the folk charts directly via this email – chartrules@officialcharts.com

Do pre-orders count towards the sale figures?

Yes, but only official pre-order sales through retailers who are set up for chart fulfilment (ie able to report the data to the Charts). Note: Kickstarter funds do not count as presales.

Do streams count towards the figures?

Yes, streams via recognised streaming platforms do count towards the chart data. There is more information about how album streams are translating into chart data on our EFEx Digital platform

How do you report live physical sales, for example from a tour or festival performance?

The Official Charts Company have a service called Lightning Live. This is a paid for service where you register your tour dates in advance through them and then report merch sales as you go along. You cannot do this retrospectively. Pricing for Lightning Live varies, starting from £50. Please contact chartrules@officialcharts.com for more information.

Do festival CD stalls report sales data to the Official Charts Company.

Only festivals who have CD stalls outsourced to recognized fulfilment services (such as Proper) automatically report on chart data. For independent festival CD stalls, there is an option for festivals to register their own CD sales through the Lightning Live route (see above), however they may need to set up several accounts as each Lightning Live account can only take 5 products. Pricing for Lightning Live varies, starting from £50. Please contact chartrules@officialcharts.com for more information.

How do I guarantee my album will be picked up in the folk chart data set?

Email Cat to make sure she’s picked it up. chartrules@officialcharts.com

Why does the chart refer to last month?

The charts published each month refer to sales, download and stream data from (approximately) the previous month. Therefore a chart published in April will be called the ‘March Chart’ as it refers to the period the data was collected. See the chart calendar below for the exact period referred to in each chart.

What things need to be considered that first-timers don’t usually think about?

Make sure you have the unique identifiers for all your physical and digital copies of your music (more info below). Give it some time – it might take 2-3 weeks to get an album registered with the charts, then you will likely want a 6-8 week pre-sales period. This means that from the point of finishing your album, you might want to leave about 10-15 weeks before actual release date as a minimum depending on your album promotion plans.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Even more information about the Official Folk Albums Charts can be found on the EFEx Digital platform including:

  • A video detailing the process to register your music for chart inclusion
  • More FAQs eg Are album re-releases included? Which digital platforms register streams and downloads with the charts? How many streams equal a download/purchase? How many albums do I need to sell to chart? What is the process for ensuring online physical sales via artist websites are collected? and more…
  • Other documents, training guides, links and contacts to support chart engagement.

EFEx Digital is a subscription platform for Artists, Music Industry and Fans. It contains a range of resources and offers designed to help anyone working in the folk music industry. There are also networking opportunities between Artists and Music Industry, including the ability for artists to present their online profiles to music industry professionals from the UK and beyond.

An annual subscription to EFEx Digital costs £30 for Artists and Fans, and £60 for the Music Industry. Income from subscriptions will be put towards the cost of maintining these charts which are a significant ongoing investment.

For more information, see the below video:

PARTNER ORGANISATIONS

Official Charts Company

The Official Charts Company are the providers of the UK’s only official music and video charts, as seen at OfficialCharts.com, on BBC Radio 1, MTV, Music Week, The Sun, Daily Star, NME and many more. Compiling its charts purely from sales and streaming information gathered across all key distribution (or entertainment) channels including all major high street retail chains, independent stores, supermarkets, mail order internet retailers and digital music and streaming service providers. This market research sample equates to 99% of the total UK singles market; 98% of the total UK albums market and 90% of the total UK DVD market.

The Official Charts Company is a joint venture between record labels’ body the BPI and ERA, the Entertainment Retailers Association. The Official Charts Company are responsible for the commissioning, marketing, distribution and management of the UK’s industry standard music charts and industry sales data.

About OfficialCharts.com

OfficialCharts.com is the online home of the UK’s Official Charts, delivering exclusive breaking chart news, video interviews with the week’s Official Number 1 artist, hot new releases and competitions to 3 million of the UK’s biggest chart fans monthly. You can access the full Official Singles and Official Albums Chart Top 100, plus official genre and format charts for Rock, Dance, Streaming, Vinyl and many more. Search the historical chart archive by date, artist, song, album or keyword.

Official Folk Albums Chart

The Official Folk Albums Chart is a Top 40 chart, released monthly. It is open to acts where at least one member must be a UK or IRE musician. Charts are based on physical sales, digital downloads and streams. The first chart to be released on 17 October covers the sales period September 2020.

Charts will be delivered by mailing lists and available to view at englishfolkexpo.com and officialcharts.com

English Folk Expo / Manchester Folk Festival

English Folk Expo (EFEx) is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation which supports the English folk, roots and acoustic music sector through a variety of projects and initiatives including the annual Manchester Folk Festival and its parallel industry showcase attracting music buyers and programmers from across the world and generating over £2m spend on artist live bookings from each event (source: the hub). It also runs an annual artist mentoring programme, hosts an online platform of resources for fans, artists and industry, collaborates with export organisations across the world on initiatives including the current Global Music Match and more.

www.englishfolkexpo.com

Showcase Scotland Expo

Showcase Scotland Expo is funded by Creative Scotland’s targeted fund for strategic work and is concerned with delivering a strategic approach to providing the maximum public benefit to Scotland by supporting and developing artists from Scotland. We work to promote the international export of Scottish-based musicians performing the genres of folk, traditional and world music. Most often this is via targeted industry showcases and presentations at key conferences worldwide, however in 2020 has pivoted to a number of online initiatives in a bid to ensure that Scottish artists’ profiles remain high amongst international markets, with both audiences and industry. Our return on investment is regularly in the region of 300%

www.showcasescotlandexpo.com

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