The Association of Independent Music (Aim) has made an official complaint to the Office of Fair Trading about the combined music download chart, set to air on Sunday, because Independent lables are under-represented.

The BBC is reporting that Aim chairman and CEO Alison Wenham described the system to monitor the combined chart as "seriously flawed" because independent labels not sold through key online retailers, such as iTunes, will be disadvantaged.

The Official Charts Company (OCC) has called the complaint "unfounded".


Wenham said: "We have been very concerned for some time that the date set for the launch of the combined chart is extremely premature, given the rather tentative supply chain structure at the moment. It's quite clear that it is premature to launch it as an official chart, which is a barometer of consumer tastes," she said.

According to Aim figures, in last weeks test combined charts (top 250), majors enjoyed 33 per cent volume in the digital formats, independents averaged at under 16 per cent. Aim says that this means that 33 per cent of the top 250 sales by major labels were digital compared to just 16 per cent of sales from independents.

Nearly 60 per cent of the independent singles were not available for sale in the digital format, claims the organisation.

Wenham told Music Week: "Like everyone else I’m keen to see download data included but at the moment the whole supply chain is insufficiently developed. It’s like giving birth to a premature baby."

According to Wenham there were delays in midweek sales data arriving from key online retailers such as iTunes this week – evidence that more work needs to be done before the charts can be officially combined, she says.

Is this the way?

The OCC have said it is "confident" that the new chart will "maintain high standards of accuracy", adding that the official UK singles chart "continues to be the most accurate in the world".

The UK market sees 22 per cent of all music sales from independent labels. Music lovers continue to criticize Apple for not ensuring its iTunes music service is representative of the UK scene.

Early indications suggest Tony Christie's (Is This The Way To) Amarillo would become the first number one in the combined chart.