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Ride the Lightning

Good news for those of you spilling out of gigs and racing to the merch stand to purchase CDs- albums sold in live venues across the UK will soon count towards the Official Albums Chart as part of a new initiative called ‘Lightning Live’.

Though its negligible how much impact this will have on the charts, it mean s that the Official Albums Chart will reflect the widest range of formats and outlets in its history- including all physical sales such as CDs, vinyl albums and cassettes, alongside digital bundles and, following a change in February, audio streams.

Of course, retailers don’t mean your local record shop but digital stores, mail order, download stores, streaming services and even supermarkets and clothing stores, with even Tesco recently jumping on the vinyl bandwagon and Urban Outfitters churning out spurious claims when they aren’t selling overpriced t-shirts.

Retailers include supermarkets, clothing stores, mail order operators, specialist entertainment chains, independent dealers, digital download stores and streaming services.

Official Charts Company Chief Operating Officer Omar Maskatiya said: “The launch of Lightning Live follows approaches from both independent and major labels, who are increasingly using live events as a route to get their products to fans and new audiences”.

He continued: “We strive constantly to ensure that the Official Charts reflects and responds to consumer behaviour and this move, following just a few months after the integration of streams, further underlines this strategy. Lightning Live has been developed over many months and road tested on a string of concerts in the past six months”.

On a side note, The Gen has always thought it an untapped market to sell high quality download codes immediately on the way out of live shows. It must be technologically possible and would capture the high of a great live performance, something a fan is far more likely to purchase in the moment than after the fact. However, this would need to actually contain the music, unlike that dodgy Manic Street Preachers bootleg The Gen once bought at a Glastonbury CD stall in the late 90’s.

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