For years, one of the more interesting things to watch in the UK was the country’s indie music charts. It was here where one could learn about the cool non-mainstream stuff that had a real chance of bubbling up into the consciousness of the general public. Music nerds watched the debuts and movements on this chart very closely.
Although there were other charts in North America that track the same sort of music (well, more-or-less), they were fragmented; no one chart ruled the space. The ones that did exist were patronized by people in the industry and only the hardest of the hardcore music fans .
In Canada, the one that I looked at most frequently was Chartattack, which tracked airplay on campus radio stations. I looked the CMJ chart in the US for the same sort of information. Today, SoundScan/BDS maintains college radio airplay charts, but those live on a proprietary site that requires a big-dollar subscription.
A great alternative that’s emerged over the last couple of years is at NewCanadianMusic.ca which spends a trenensoud amount of tracking new and emerging artists, back things up with a huge number of metrics. With them, it’s all about the data.
Now comes word of a new indie music chart built on an alliance between the Canadian Independent Music Association and Buzz Angle Music to bring “the first-ever independent-only music sales and streaming charts to Canada.” From the press release:
Harnessing BuzzAngle Music’s comprehensive music data reporting technology, these new charts, set to launch later this year, will provide real-time, up-to-date data on the performance of releases from Canada’s independent music industry.
Both the new CIMA Top Independent Albums and CIMA Top Independent Songs charts, powered by BuzzAngle Music, will be published on a weekly basis on CIMA’s website (www.cimamusic.ca). CIMA and BuzzAngle Music are both proud to note that this is the first time that Canada will have an exclusive chart that puts the spotlight squarely on the strength of Canada’s domestic-owned independent music industry.
This is still mostly a service for the industry, but here’s hoping that it becomes adopted widely enough for it to be a go-to source of info for regular music fans.