I’ve charted Top 10, 20, 30 & 40 singles in Canada and have been tracking singles for nearly a decade. So the word "charting" is something I live and breath by, and it is a word that is vital to our industry. It also is a word I find folks have a tendency to get caught up on because of the weight of it. And sometimes, folks miss the big picture of the reach of a single and why we service them. Sure, charting creates opportunity for artists and is the highlander of radio, because, at the end of the day, there can be only one. Just one at the top of each chart, which is driven by genre, and charting stations only happen in major markets. So of all the singles serviced in Canada, with only a handful of stations in each genre in that specific major market, you can begin to get a sense for how small the window is and how big the gamble is. But that doesn't bother me, in fact, it inspires me, and is exactly why I don't service singles for charting alone. I service singles for market saturation -- to further careers, to boost tours, to keep artists relevant, to help them meet the "exportable" criteria and, really, at the end of the day, I service singles to see how far we can push, what boundaries & rules we can break, how far can we take it and how many ears we can get it to. So for all of these reasons, I look at charting as the icing on top of the cake, not the ingredients as a whole. Having said all that, a runaway hit can happen at any moment, and in my experience, nothing can stop a great song - nothing.
But before we carried away, please remember, charting can happen at many levels, including The East Coast Countdown is a chart. So is CBC Radio 2 Top 20 Countdown, End of Year Charts (Stan Carew's Top 10 albums of 2013) and so many more, in addition to BDS, Billboard, Mediabase.
So for all of these reasons, let's keep charting where it belongs, as part of the big picture, but by no means the end result. The end result is market saturation, artist development and career advancement.