Spot the difference

Monday, 15 October 2007
by anil
filed under Lunch Table
Comments: 36

What a week. From the moment Radiohead announced their plans for latest release ‘In Rainbows’ we’ve been itching to see how you, the listeners, would respond. We let our friends over at Drowned In Sound in on some early data after just 12 hours. Now that our weekly charts are compiled there’s not much else to say apart from “Wowzer”. Below you can see the global tracks chart for last week, and below that the official UK downloads chart for the same period. Spot the difference? global tracks chart - Week Ending Oct 14 global tracks chart for week ending October 14th

Official UK Downloads chart - Week Starting Oct 15

Official UK downloads chart – Week Starting October 15th


  1. ryan
    15 October, 19:54

    I took a screencap of My Weekly Neighbors Online with all but one listening to In Rainbows.

    ryan – 15 October, 19:54
  2. Jonas Wisser
    15 October, 20:13

    That is pretty amazing. Maybe Big Music will take a hint? Just possibly?

    Nah, probably not.

    Jonas Wisser – 15 October, 20:13
  3. dj empirical
    15 October, 20:42

    without download numbers for the official UK charts (and without limiting the charts to UK totals), these aren’t really comparable.

    though, in a “yay radiohead” kind of way, it does say something, but then, has pretty much always had radiohead in the top 3 or so….

    dj empirical – 15 October, 20:42
  4. heavyraptor
    15 October, 20:51

    What is Radiohead? :D

    But damn that’s sick … really amazing, but just really sick.

    heavyraptor – 15 October, 20:51
  5. Marc Krejci
    15 October, 20:54

    $.5M made in one week (directly to the band) isn’t so bad, huh?

    I did some math using your blog post here:

    Marc Krejci – 15 October, 20:54
  6. mosquitokillah
    15 October, 21:02

    Just amazing!

    mosquitokillah – 15 October, 21:02
  7. J
    15 October, 22:35

    I think the funniest thing is that the order of the tracks in the chart is exactly the running order of the album. I would suppose that later tracks have been played less due to partial plays of the album.

    J – 15 October, 22:35
  8. Matt Oakes
    15 October, 22:39

    I’ve never been a radiohead fan but I might give them a go after seeing this :P

    Matt Oakes – 15 October, 22:39
  9. Matt Oakes
    15 October, 22:47

    Also: Digg this up so LAst.FM gets a bit of publisity :D

    Last.FM Charts Compared to UK Download Charts (Radiohead anyone???)

    Matt Oakes – 15 October, 22:47
  10. anil
    15 October, 22:58

    J: Yes the chart clearly shows a decreasing number of listens as you progress through the track list for the record. Radiohead listening is up all round, with 17 other Radiohead tracks in our global top 100 this week climbing places… the result of alphabetized digital music collections and a little lazyness perhaps?

    dj empirical: A statistical comparison is obviously not possible with these data sets, but the disparity of these two related charts (they both attempt to show digital music consumption patterns over the same period, if for differing regions) is enough to form a striking demonstration of how the industry is changing – especially given Radiohead are a UK band – don’t you think?

    anil – 15 October, 22:58
  11. Amr Hassan
    15 October, 23:13

    we’ve all been taking screencaps of the charts since yesterday. this is too crazy.. i wonder how the charts will be next weeek!

    Amr Hassan – 15 October, 23:13
  12. Josh Woodward
    16 October, 01:51

    Phil Collins??

    Josh Woodward – 16 October, 01:51
  13. Mikel Ward
    16 October, 03:38

    And all in album order, too.

    What songs does everyone think are best?

    I’m still getting into it, but so far I like “Reckoner” best.

    Mikel Ward – 16 October, 03:38
  14. akirabomb
    16 October, 05:48

    Commerical download charts are so boring. I’m all for taking over the radiowaves as well as the internets. :D

    akirabomb – 16 October, 05:48
  15. heliopath
    16 October, 09:36

    heeelll yeah. thats a lot of listens for 5 days.

    heliopath – 16 October, 09:36
  16. Steven Gravell
    16 October, 09:45

    Mikel, definitely agreed on Reckoner being the best track.

    Phil Collins????

    Steven Gravell – 16 October, 09:45
  17. DiamondDave
    16 October, 10:36

    Aren’t Radiohead’s website unwilling/unable to provide figures regarding downloads to the chart compilers. There’s very little doubt that Radiohead would be dominating the charts if this data was available.

    DiamondDave – 16 October, 10:36
  18. Anil Bawa
    16 October, 11:00

    DiamonDave: That’s right, the official chart is compiled from the data provided by select vendors of digital music. Since Radiohead are providing the album direct, they are ignored by the official chart.

    Anil Bawa – 16 October, 11:00
  19. Jelle
    16 October, 11:00

    Wow, this is pretty amazing. :)

    Jelle – 16 October, 11:00
  20. Robin Lisle
    16 October, 11:13

    Also, had the “Phil Collins . . .what the f?” moment. But then thought about it for a minute and I’m guessing that the Cadbury’s drumming ape commercial has propelled “In the Air Tonight” in to the top ten.

    To satisfy my own curiosity, I just checked the top tracks in a sampling of countries and the tracks from In Rainbows are the top ten tracks in the US, France, Brazil, China, Poland, Egypt, Taiwan and South Africa, but don’t show up on the India chart until #18.

    Robin Lisle – 16 October, 11:13
  21. Jakki
    16 October, 11:14

    Go Radiohead:o

    Maybe other artists will take their example and stop suing their fans for downloading their music haha.

    Jakki – 16 October, 11:14
  22. onno
    16 October, 12:25

    I think it is a very cool fact that 11.000 people did not make to the last track ;-)

    Which could say something about Radiohead, but let’s not get into that haha

    onno – 16 October, 12:25
  23. smarmy
    16 October, 14:28

    Look at number of plays vs. number of listeners. Your 11,000 claim is meaningless and incorrect :)

    smarmy – 16 October, 14:28
  24. Fulvian
    16 October, 16:26

    I agree with Jakki, am waiting for other artists to follow this phenomenal step. :P

    Fulvian – 16 October, 16:26
  25. IanAR
    16 October, 16:50

    Thought provoking! Can charts based on verified sales ever accurately represent direct sales from that artist (where the artist is always likely to undercut any retailers, also selling their product)?

    Another difference, I don’t see mentioned, is that Last portrays listening-reach, whereas, OUKDC portrays purchase-reach. [1] Listening will always lead purchase and [2] listening includes copies distributed by fair-use and piracy.

    BTW: Has anyone found an XML web-service, for Official UK Download Charts? A bit of mash-up malarkey might be fun :) Ian Newbie Streamable Artists

    IanAR – 16 October, 16:50
  26. H3lx
    16 October, 20:56

    the radiohead album wasnt sold as single tracks, so how could it break into the top downloaded singles exactly, even IF people were getting it legitimately?

    H3lx – 16 October, 20:56
  27. Carl
    17 October, 02:17

    Hey this is a great service! I just put you on my blog. Thanks!

    Carl – 17 October, 02:17
  28. fjdsakfhds
    17 October, 06:31

    This is better, at no. 17 is everything in it’s right place.

    Reason? It’s the first track on Kid A, the album which would appear underneath In Rainbows on Itunes and other Media Libraries.

    fjdsakfhds – 17 October, 06:31
  29. onno
    17 October, 11:02

    The first song has 67.000 listeners, the last song 56.000. The difference is 11.000, why is that incorrect and meaningless?

    onno – 17 October, 11:02
  30. Scotboy56
    17 October, 19:09

    I’m a huge Radiohead fan, but I have to agree with Anil Bawa and DiamonDave. It’s a little like saying, In the U.S. the top-ranked shows on Sundays are NFL games but in Iceland, football doesn’t even show up in the rankings….

    Scotboy56 – 17 October, 19:09
  31. Zesty Pete
    18 October, 11:14

    Small dose of context here: when Hail to the Thief was “leaked” online before its official release, Radiohead wasn’t happy, claiming it was because the tracks weren’t the finished product. Then Hail to the Thief sold more copies in its first week than Kid A and Amnesiac (though it didn’t outsell Kid A in the end, according to Wikipedia).

    They’re currently out of record contract, and so they can release the downloads as soon as possible, on a pay what you want basis. So far, so great. But the downloaded version has 10 tracks (for which I paid £5 – plus a £0.45 credit card charge like my corner shop does, cheeky buggers) while the CD will have 18 tracks or so and is going to cost £40. Nonetheless, the latter will inevitably be bought by hardcore Radiohead fans if not more, depending on the success of the first 10 tracks.

    My point is this: was this really some sort of generous “trust the public” experiment (because those have failed before, though no band as big as Radiohead has ever tried this before) or a strategic new business model for music releases that understands the way the money flows and is taking full advantage? Frankly, I’m fine with either version of events, but I’d be happier if the media stopped salivating over the story as though Radiohead are doing it out of the goodness of their hearts and realised that it was a business decision based on current market trends…

    Zesty Pete – 18 October, 11:14
  32. nameless
    19 October, 16:28

    THAT is what I would call chart manipulation. Congratulations to all of you braindead artsy wannabes for turning Radiohead into the ultimate archetypes of what you brand them not to be… musical conformity, mainstreamness, unoriginality, etc.

    nameless – 19 October, 16:28
  33. Adriaan
    19 October, 19:55


    Adriaan – 19 October, 19:55
  34. Zesty Pete
    22 October, 12:56

    Turns out I was right (or, at least, I was right to ask the question):

    Doesn’t happen often.

    Zesty Pete – 22 October, 12:56
  35. bob
    23 October, 10:12

    15 step- I found somewhere that currently there are 71253 listeners at, there seems a good number of listeners added within a week of time, other’s scores could have been changed as well as on date.

    bob – 23 October, 10:12
  36. Rob Szarka
    24 October, 21:46

    I have to say that Radiohead is the one band I listen to less because of I hate seeing them at the top of every freakin’ group chart… ;)

    Rob Szarka – 24 October, 21:46

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