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Are Kick Game Holding The Blueprint For Album Chart Success?

Joe Simpson

By Joe Simpson

Joe Simpson

15 Jul 2022

In an ever-changing musical landscape, the margin of error when it comes to releasing an album have never been tighter. Ever since the rise of streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, the concept of the album has fallen by the wayside as more and more artists attempt to cash in on streaming royalties by getting their songs placed on playlists. There is no shame in this, as the rise of streaming platforms has massively diluted they royalties that artists would have got previously from their music, but it does seem that fans are less and less likely to sit down and listen to whole album, instead cherry picking songs from projects after the first listen. 

This in turn has also affected the album charts. According to the Official Charts Company, an album would need to be streamed 1000 times to make up the equivalent of one physical sale. This can prove difficult for artists coming out of our scene, as nowadays most artists will have made their name coming up on platforms such as Mixtape Madness or GRM Daily. It is no surprise then that the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Queen, David Bowie and ABBA have all had albums featured in the highest selling list of 2022 so far. 

Photo by Tim Easton

In order to circumvent this issue, artists have begun doing pop up album signings across the country, with the sneaker retailer Kick Game often providing an outlet for them. The retailer has risen to a prominent position in UK culture following their ‘Sneaker Shopping’ YouTube series, which has amassed millions of views across multiple platforms.

Since last year, Kick Game has welcomed Central Cee, Ardee, Knucks, and M Huncho across their stores nationwide, which has seen a rise in the album charts for each artist. Every artist listed secured a top 5 album, with Ardee placing at number 2, and Central Cee topping the charts with ’23’. Most recently, Burna Boy hosted an album signing in Kick Game’s flagship store, which has in turn contributed to his number 2 spot in the album charts for ‘Love, Damini’.

Photo By Tim Easton

The climate for the music industry has never been more volatile, and with the rise of streaming from social media apps such as Tiktok and Instagram, this doesn’t look like it will be changing any time soon. There is certainly a discrepancy between the ratio of physical sales and album streams, but while the Official Charts Company maintain this formula, physical copies are the most surefire way to secure a decent chart position. You only have to look at Jme’s ‘Grime MC’, which didn’t land on streaming services until months after it was released and still debuted in the top 40 to see that the monopoly on the album charts is still held away from the digital space. 

In store signings not only close the gap between the digital and physical, they also close the gap between artist and fan, allowing supporters to get up close and personal in a way that is priceless for them. Kick Game’s support of these artists through in-store signings is imperative to help a new generation of artists stake their claim on a Chart that for too long has been dominated by acts from a bygone era.

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