Citizen Reporter
4 minute read
21 Oct 2021
3:33 pm

SA finally has its own music charts – see who is at the top

Citizen Reporter

SA's first local music charts will provide fans, artists and labels with a window into music streaming in such a dynamic market.

DJ Maphorisa in studio. Picture: Instagram

Building on its ongoing work in the local music industry, Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA) has thrown its weight behind The Official South African Music Charts (Tosac) –  a first in South Africa, both in scale and magnitude.

Started with the aim of celebrating the popularity and success of music from diverse artists across the country enjoyed by various audiences, the charts seek to quantify just how popular local music is.

According to a statement, Tosac kicked off with a focus on singles in the digital music streaming space. The charts are compiled by global music technology leaders BMAT Music Innovators.

“We are incredibly excited to have launched such a pioneering platform for the South African music industry and audiences, across different genres. This represents a significant milestone and a much-needed step up to aligning with popular forms of music consumption for the local music industry,” said chairperson of RiSA, Sean Watson.

RiSA also explains that to ensure that the charts represent the broad South African digital music spectrum, Tosac currently aggregates data from three digital streaming platforms popularly used by local audiences: Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer. 

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More digital platforms will be added to their database as and when agreements are reached with them.

“BMAT uses their tech and expertise to accurately consolidate data from these platforms, as they already do in 21 other countries across the world as the official chart’s compiler of International Federation of the Phonographic Industry [IFPI],” explained RiSA in a statement. 

SA music charts
SA music charts international top 20 tracks – 21 Oct 2021. Picture: Supplied

“The launch of The Official South African Music Charts is a great milestone for music in South Africa and for the development of the industry across the continent. The charts will provide music fans, artists and record labels with a window into music streaming in one of the world’s most vibrant and dynamic markets,” said Frances Moore, CEO of IFPI.

“IFPI would like to congratulate its national member organisation RiSA, the company members and the contributing streaming platforms for this important achievement,” added Moore. 

“These Official South African Music Charts are helping paint an accurate picture of how music is being consumed in South Africa. We’re glad to add South Africa to the list of countries where we’re using our tech to make streaming data accessible to both music lovers and the general public,” stated Enric Calabuig, vice-president of charts at BMAT.

What you can expect to find on the charts:

  • Weekly top 200 tracks (which takes into account all tracks streamed in South Africa, including both local and international music)
  • Weekly top 100 local tracks (which only includes tracks wherein at least one of the credited artists is from South Africa)
SA local top 10 tracks
SA music charts local top 10 tracks – #Week41 – 21 Oct 2021. Picture: Supplied

How the charts are aggregated:

  • Chart week is Friday to Thursday.
  • Songs are ranked by applying an economic weighting to the streams they get from participating digital streaming platforms (DSPs). For instance, subscription streams have more impact than ad-supported streams.
  • Different versions of a track are aggregated to their corresponding original track, i.e. radio edits, extended edits or other slightly modified versions, remixes with additional featured artists, DJ remixes, as long as the original artist is credited, different language version.
  • Covers are not aggregated to the original track.

You can access the country’s first official charts on their website.

“We have a robust music industry, and our people have a natural thirst for music. We have also seen an undeniable shift in how people consume music in the past few years, with more and more audiences making use of streaming services than before.

“We are thus excited to put in place an offering that not only recognises that but is set to help drive the growth of our industry,” added Nhlanhla Sibisi, CEO of RiSA.

“We understand the competitive nature of the digital streaming space and that consumers are spoiled for choice with access to local and international music charts as well as digital streaming apps.

“Our intention is to provide all South African music enthusiasts and general consumers with a platform that they can ‘own’ and one that reflects their own relationship with local and international music and their consumption patterns, irrespective of their taste in music. We also plan to consistently develop [the] Tosac platform and tailor it to accommodate our constantly changing consumer needs,” concluded Sibisi. 

Compiled by Kaunda Selisho