The Official Charts Company has signed a new agreement with Kantar Millward Brown to continue their long-term relationships compiling the UK and Ireland’s official music and video charts until 2025.
Their deal dates from spring 1994 and the extension means their partnership will run for at least three decades. The new six-year deal will run from February 2019 to January 2025.
The agreement also marks the departure of Kantar Millward Brown’s long-standing charts director Bob Barnes, who was instrumental in finalising the deal to take over the UK chart industry contract from Gallup. Barnes, who has been with the company since 1993, is retiring and will take on a new role as chart consultant until the end of 2018.
Barnes will be succeeded by Daniel Lister, who was previously charts operations director. The change of roles takes immediate effect.
Kantar Millward Brown’s chart unit is based in Warwick, overseeing product identification, data processing and database management on behalf of the OCC. The new contract was won following a competitive tender process.
I’ve had a wonderful 24 years compiling the world’s fastest and most robust charts
Official Charts Company chief executive Martin Talbot said: “This is an historic moment for the UK charts – as we extend Kantar Millward Brown’s role into their third decade, say (or at least starting to say) farewell to a genuine chart legend in Bob Barnes and congratulate Dan Lister as he takes over the helm in Warwick.
“In our three decades working together, the Official Charts and Kantar Millward Brown have seen huge changes in the charts and the way data is presented to the entertainment industry. I have no doubt there will be further evolution in the years to come – and there is no team we would rather have by our side than Dan and our friends in the Kantar Millward Brown chart unit.”
Barnes said: “I’ve had a wonderful 24 years compiling the world’s fastest and most robust charts on behalf of the Official Charts Company. The changes that have taken place over the years have been staggering. In 1994, I never believed I’d outlive Woolworths, Our Price, Virgin Megastores, John Menzies and Tower Records, all of whom contributed to our early charts. It’s been an honour to have had such a tremendous responsibility and opportunity.
“Stepping away hasn’t been an easy decision, but I know as we’re soon to start a new contract compiling the analysis through to 2025, now is the right time to hand the reigns over to Dan. He’s been my operations manager and latterly director for the last seven years and has worked in the charts unit since arriving at Millward Brown in 2004. I can’t be leaving the charts in safer hands!”
Barnes began his music industry career at Discovery Records in 1978. He grew the chain to eight branches, which were then branded Music Junction, before selling the business in the early 1990s. He was a founder member of the British Association of Record Dealers, now ERA, and served on its council until 1993.