profile image

Martin Talbot

Chief executive of the Official Charts Company

Martin Talbot is managing director of the Official Charts Company, providers of the most accurate intelligence data on the British video and music industries – and the most sophisticated chart system anywhere in the world. Talbot joined the world of the Official Charts in October 2007, following several years as editor of Music Week, the trade paper for the UK music industry. Martin started his career in local news, at the Hackney Gazette, where he reported on crime, politics and entertainment. His time at Music Week began in the early 1990s, interrupted by a spell as a staff writer at the NME. He became executive editor of Music Week in January 2002 and editor in January 2005. Talbot is currently overseeing a rebranding of the Official Charts, a relaunch of their consumer web offering ( and a repositioning of the Official Charts as the place “Where Legends Are Made” in time for 2012’s 60th Anniversary of the Singles Chart.

No Formula For Christmas Number 1

Whether the shift away from X-Factor winners and campaign releases in 2016 is part of a long-term trend only time will tell. But as the music world has evolved over the past half century, the Christmas Number 1 race continues to do so.
22/12/2016 14:03 GMT

Bowie - A Hero for More Than Just One Day

In those 10 years, he produced 11 albums - <em>Hunky Dory</em>, <em>The Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars</em>, <em>Aladdin Sane</em>, <em>Pin-Ups</em>, <em>Diamond Dogs</em>, <em>Young Americans</em>, <em>Station To Station</em>, <em>Low</em>, <em>Heroes</em>, <em>Lodger</em>, <em>Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)</em> - many of which stand comparison with any albums of any era. And, as a result, more than a dozen will find themselves in the Official Albums Top 100 today.
15/01/2016 15:24 GMT

More Than 800,000 Reasons Why It's All About Adele

Today Adele was confirmed at the top of the UK's Official Albums Chart (no surprise there) - but with a sales total which is breath-taking. In seven days, her third album <em>25</em> sold 800,307 copies. To reiterate, that is the highest total for any Number 1 album ever. That's ever.
27/11/2015 19:56 GMT

Why the Official UK Charts Have Moved

It's a rare thing in your working life to find yourself handling history. I suspect those working on the new Harper Lee novel <em>To Set A Watchman</em> feel that way right now. It's hard to imagine a more highly anticipated book launch. And, here at the Official Charts, it has been a rather remarkable 12 months. Just a year ago, audio streams were ushered into the Official Singles Chart for the first time. I know, it's just been 12 months. Crazy isn't it? Then, in February, streams were reflected for the first time in the Official Albums Chart...
11/07/2015 23:28 BST

Charting the Streaming of Albums

Streaming is upon us, it is one of the buzz words of our era - and understandably so. It may remain a minority sport among music fans (around 12% of spending on music in the UK during 2014), but it is growing at a rapid pace.
12/02/2015 15:08 GMT

Christmas Streamers Add to the Festive Spirit

There is a significant difference about this year's race however - an historic difference, truth be told. For 62 years, the Official Christmas number one has been decided on the basis of sales alone. This year, the race reflects the changing way that music fans are consuming music.
16/12/2014 00:08 GMT

Mariah Hits the Million Mark, as UK Fans Download Merrily on High

The enduring success of<em> All I Want For Christmas Is You</em> should not be a surprise. Whether because of Mariah's iconic video (frolicking in the snow, wearing her Santa-themed micro dress), the recording's upbeat joyfulness or the timeless quality (even though it was produced and written by Mariah with Walter Afanasieff), the track has something for everyone.
20/12/2013 16:16 GMT

The Only Day in December That Matters - Let Battle Commence!

For many people, the biggest day of December begins the morning after Santa pops down the chimney. But, for an array of pop stars, Facebook campaigners, charity singles and chart watchers, attention is focused on another day - the day the Christmas Number One is confirmed. The race for the Christmas Number 1 is as festive as turkey and mulled wine. And this year, with the big day falling on December 22 (and BBC Radio 1's counting down the Top 40 from 4-7pm), it is likely to be as spicy a race as we have seen for some time.
13/12/2013 18:46 GMT

From Strawberry Jam to the Biggest Music Format of All Time

The first time many of us will have seen the shiny little five inch disc was on <em>Tomorrow's World</em>, a year before the format's launch, when Kieran Prendiville spread strawberry jam on a Bee Gees CD and told us all that it would still play. It didn't.
01/10/2012 17:22 BST

Why Noel Gallagher Shouldn't Look Back in Anger

The former Oasis songsmith is currently launching his solo career. His first single in July, The Death Of You And Me, charted at 15 and was followed last month by AKA...What A Life, which reached 20. Next week they are both followed by his rather excellent debut album High Flying Birds.
12/10/2011 13:44 BST