The first new track from David Bowie in a decade is not eligible for the UK singles chart.
The Official Chart Company said sales of Where Are We Now? “cannot currently be counted… as the release is linked to an album pre-order promotion”.
“It is not possible to distinguish” people who purchase the song on its own from those who pre-order the album and get it for free, the company explained.
The track was released on Tuesday, coinciding with Bowie’s 66th birthday.
It was made available as a video and an iTunes download and will be followed by a new album, The Next Day, in March.
Where Are We Now? currently tops the iTunes UK singles chart, while The Next Day is the online retailer’s most requested pre-order.
Fans were upset to find out the song would not feature in this week’s countdown.
“Surely someone high up can step in and sort it out,” wrote Ian Wade on Twitter.
“A terrible shame,” agreed Lee Thompson. “Means we’re stuck with will.i.am and Britney instead.”
Another writer suggested Bowie wouldn’t be overly concerned, writing: “He must be crying diamond tears into his dodo-feather-stuffed golden pillow”.
Bowie has not performed live since 2006 and has rarely been seen in public since then, prompting speculation over the state of his health.
The Official Charts Company said the singer’s new track could not be considered for its singles countdown due to “rules which are agreed in partnership with UK record companies and retailers”.
“Should it become possible in the future for regular track sales to be distinguished from album pre-order incentive purchases, then these sales can be counted towards the chart.”