Anger As Recorded Music NZ Changes Chart Rules

24 April 2023 | 8:52 am | Mary Varvaris

Do the changes reflect what people are actually listening to?

(Recorded Music NZ logo)

The Official NZ Music Chart is facing a substantial change to its primary Top 40 singles and album charts so that older songs and albums that stay on the charts forever - think Rumours, INXSGreatest Hits - have their own separate chart. The Official NZ Music Chart will now examine the Top 40 and Catalogue Charts.

The changes were implemented on Saturday, 22 April. A press release states that the Top 40 Charts will impose a strict 18-month limit on recordings appearing there. 

Once a song or album enters the Top 40, the clock starts ticking. If it is still performing well after 18 months, it automatically moves to the Catalogue Charts, carrying its history to continue its journey toward historical chart longevity records.

Recorded Music NZ Chart Compiler Paul Kennedy said in a press release, “In a streaming-dominated world in which old favourites are often on perpetual repeat for many music fans, some titles never leave the chart while a large quantity of very deserving new music never charts at all.”

Kennedy continued, “By splitting the charts into two, we can continue to celebrate the most enduring albums and songs in their own new charts while also freshening up the Top 40.

“We hope these new Catalogue Charts will not only be an additional tool for the industry but an interesting insight for music fans by shining a light on the most enduring hits of years, and decades, gone by.”

While freshening up the Top 40 is a positive thing, some music fans expressed disappointment as the new changes mean that New Zealand reggae band L.A.B, who have been in the Top 40 Chart for 175 weeks with their 10x Platinum single in New Zealand, In The Air, and were about to break records, have had that momentum stalled.

The record label, music publisher, promoter and booking agency Loop commented on social media, “This change to the Recorded Music NZ Music Charts signals the end of the NZ charts for us,” and added, “The top 40 NOW excludes anything older than 18 months which simply means THE CHARTS NO LONGER REFLECT WHAT PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY LISTENING TO!”