After Billboard announced its plan to include streaming data on its competitive chart system, the UK’s Official Charts were praised for deciding not follow suit…adamant that ‘paid for’ sales were the only measure to be used when allocating chart positions.
Alas, in a shock move that’s set to change British music industry as the world knows it, the company have now revealed that British digital streams will now be added to British sales, redefining what it means to ‘make it’ on the charts.
“The head of music at Radio 1 and Radio 1Xtra has said streaming will soon be included in the top 40 singles chart.
Speaking at a Radio Academy event in London, George Ergatoudis said play counts from services like Spotify and YouTube could be included as soon as this summer.
While countries such as the US and Germany already count music streams, the UK chart is based on sales alone.
The Official Charts Company says there is no firm date set for the change.”
“Chief executive Martin Talbot told the BBC the company was still working out the “how” and “when” behind the plans.”
Undoubtedly set to add more variety to the chart’s weekly line-up, ‘Official‘s shocking decision comes after music streaming increased by 33.7% in 2013, accounting for 10% of revenues generated by recorded music.
Coming two years after the introduction of the ‘Official Streaming Chart’, this news comes as the company’s Chief Executive, Martin Talbot, revealed that they were to finalise their plans, and announce just how the system will function once implemented.
Adding to this, BBC News continues:
“He cited issues including what kind of streams should be counted and the possible impact on new and independent artists.
The company will also have to decide how many “plays” of a YouTube video or Spotify track would count as the equivalent of one sale.
There will also be questions about how long a user has to listen to a track before it is counted – some statisticians equate a 30-second stream to one play, others prefer only to count users who stream an entire song.
Mr Talbot’s statement to Music Week was in response Universal Music UK boss, David Joseph, who told the magazine that the UK charts risk becoming irrelevant if they don’t begin including streaming soon.
The Official Charts Company has previously explained that the UK chart methodology and market are both very different to America, where the Hot 100 takes into account radio airplay.
Mr Ergatoudis said merging that data into the Top 40 would be one of the biggest transitional changes in the Official Chart’s history.”
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