The Christmas number one race doesn’t seem to grab the headlines as much as it once did, but it’s still a coveted honor chased away every year.
Until recent years, when downloads and streaming took over, those aiming for the top spot had to rely on music fans who flocked to stores to purchase copies of their singles on CD, cassette or vinyl. .
These days, with physical copies of rare singles, every 100 streams on a premium subscription service counts as one purchase with 600 needed on ad-supported platforms (this goes to a ratio of 200: 1 and 1,200: 1 once the stream-to-sales ratio has declined for three consecutive weeks). Of course, a paid download always counts as a purchase.
Thinking back to when it wasn’t that complicated, the holiday season often saw a wave of singles releases with music companies hoping people would buy their favorites while doing their Christmas shopping.
Some reaching number one managed to sell millions of copies, sometimes over several years, and three of the five best-selling UK singles of all time were Christmas number one.
But not all of the festive charts weren’t pieces that always set in December, even though he was in contention on his first outing.
If you think you know your chart history, or just want to learn more about chart history, try our Christmas number one quiz!
Question –1 of 21
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