Official Charts secure new deal with Kantar Millward Brown
Agreement extends relationship into 31st year
Chart legend Bob Barnes retires as deal is concluded
The Official Charts Company has struck 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.
The new six-year deal will run from February 2019 through to January 2025 and extend their relationship into a 31st year – Kantar Millward Brown (then Millward Brown) first took over the UK industry’s chart contract in spring 1994.
It will also be the final agreement secured by Kantar Millward Brown’s long-standing charts director Bob Barnes, who is retiring and taking on a new role as chart consultant for KMB until the end of 2018. Barnes has been with the company since Spring 1993 and was instrumental in finalising the original deal to take over the UK chart contract from Gallup from Spring 1994.
Barnes will be succeeded by Daniel Lister, currently Charts Operations Director, who will assume responsibility for the KMB charts unit from January 1 2018.
Kantar Millward Brown’s chart unit is based in Warwick, overseeing product identification, data processing and database management on behalf of the Official Charts Company, who are based in London and manage commercial relationships with B2B / media, marketing, promotion and industry relations. The new contract was won by Millward Brown following a competitive tender process, which saw the Warwick-based company reaffirming its credentials as the best company for the job of compiling the UK music industry’s charts.
Official Charts Company chief executive Martin Talbot says, “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 says, “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!”
Bob began his music industry career at Discovery Records in 1978. He grew the chain to eight stores (then branded Music Junction) before selling the stores 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.