Tuesday, September 10, 2002

It's still number one

Chris Cowey - executive producer of Top of the Pops - has told the Financial Times that the chart's shit, basically. Cowey, who the FT curiously describes as the man "credited with restoring Top of the Pops as Britain's most successful television music show since his arrival at the BBC in 1997" - audiences bouncing around three million apparently counting as a success, now; and what, exactly, would have been outperforming the Pops in the late 90's anyway? Did those late night Music Box Profiles really score more highly? - is in a glorious ranting mode; he suggests that instead of being based on volume of sales, the chart should be based on value of sales instead. This way, he believes, the practice of cutting the price of singles on week of release would stop distorting the otherwise pristine purity of the listing of top-selling records. We can actually see this going down well with the industry, actually - the thought that they could have a chart that reflected the levels of cash pouring in to their chests would probably delight them. It would also mean that Kelly Osbourne's papa don't preach, which has been bobbling around in the lower sixties for the last month on import sales would have been - presumably - at least in the top 40, what with imports costing more. So the whole attempt to manage the release would have been blown out the water. Maybe the industry wouldn't like it quite so much.

But here's an idea - why not reduce the price of all CDs? There's already a load of meanignless rules governing what can and can't go into chart which distort the listing; why not make a rule in the consumers favour that chart eligible CDs have to be £2-50? It'd be good for small shops, as they'd not lose trade to the larger shops with their huge piles of 99p and £1-99 giveaways; it'd outlaw the habit of racking up prices as soon as the record hits the chart (isn't that illegal, anyway?), and it would do away with the distortion Cowey complains about at a stroke.

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