Reviews Research & Whitepapers

Academic Charts Online (ACO) is a groundbreaking research source, one that brings together for the first time, sound recording sales charts for a wide variety of music genres from around the world. Its search interface is intuitive and returns quickly-comprehensible results, which can in turn be manipulated in useful ways... overall ACO provides a very solid value for the price. ACO's content is tremendously valuable; the charts from which it derives its data go back, in some cases, more than 60 years... the product already fills such a significant need for music researchers. Read the full review

It will make music librarians wonder how we got by without it until now. - read the excerpts here

- 'Note's review, Music Library Association

ACO...set(s) itself apart from other online music resources by using analytical tools to gauge the impact of classical, jazz, and pop music all over the world. Using more than 60 years of music-chart data, and updated on a weekly basis, ACO allows users to compare and contrast, critically examine, and interpret reams of music-chart data with a simple click of the mouse... Any curious researcher exploring music and culture will find a fascinating trove of information here. Read the full review

Academic Charts Online is an indispensable tool in examining chart data for the sales of sound recordings in countries around the world. I believe ACO will be valuable to everyone from scholars to casual music fans, and it should be considered an essential resource for any library that deals with the study of popular music.

- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

In short, the database should be of significant value to any institution with courses of study in pop music and history of contemporary Western music

- University of Hong Kong

…provides us with a statistical meta-narrative of popular culture…

- University of Northampton

We set up a trial and have been very pleased with it and its application across the curriculum, not just in music…

- Bowling Green State University


Reviews Research & Whitepapers

Whitepapers: Research Questions Answered

Based on discussions with Norma Coates, Don Wright Faculty of Music at University of Western Ontario


“Introduces fascinating research questions which could not be answered before.”

“Time saving - it would require pulling out the books and spending a day to derive insights which take a minute in ACO.”

Research questions at University of Western Ontario (reviewed in this whitepaper)

1. American TV in the 1960s and music of the times. Give me 1965, not a particular week but a trend.

2. Show me the context of 1964 when the Rolling Stones made their first US tour.

3. Punk Rock: the accepted mythology is that in 1975-6 punk was taking over. Is this correct? Show me what was really going on and whether punk had a commercial impact in the charts.

4. How did the US compare to the UK at that time, and is Canada different?


Based on discussions with Marci Cohen, librarian at Berklee School of Music, Boston


“Great for comparative analysis of artists”

“Checks the actual extent of an increase in sales through winning a Grammy”

Research questions at Berklee School of Music (reviewed in this whitepaper)

1. Show the point where Nirvana overtook Michael Jackson in January 1992 and compare to other artists at the time (Metallica, U2, Natalie Cole)

2. Look at weeks in chart over the decades. How do these change (influenced by Storm Gloor's MEIEA Journal article)

3. Mumford and Sons: what is the extent of the impact on sales of their wins in the 55th Grammy's which propelled them to a level of attention they had not experienced before.


Based on discussions with London Centre of Contemporary Music (LCCM).


“Time saving - what takes a day of picking through the books takes a minute in ACO.” (London Centre of Contemporary Music)

Positioning student performers in the music industry using ACO (reviewed in this whitepaper)

How ACO helps students position themselves when preparing to leave a conservatory to easily engage with with managers, labels and others in the music industry to build a career.


Based on discussions with Alice Godfrey, Channel 4 TV, London. These are examples of ACO used in music business courses.


“Very useful to find alternative recordings of the same mood, which can be cleared for worldwide use in TV programmes”

“A resource which enables quick selection of music that fits with the time period of the production, which will also have emotional significance for viewers”

Research questions at Channel 4 TV (reviewed in this whitepaper)

1. What was popular in July 1986, both singles and albums

2. How do I find recordings which have the same emotional impact as The Stone Roses, but can more easily be cleared for Internet, film and foreign distribution channels?

3. Find Hendrix tracks which charted at the time in the late 1990s, for use in 'My mad fat diary' the TV series.


Take a look at the contentContact Us How can we help?