UK Charts To Include Streaming Data in Top 40
February 21, 2014
A new decision has been reached and will be implemented in the UK charts - streaming data will be included alongside downloads in the UK Top 40 singles chart. For over 60 years, the charts have been attached to the purchase of music, but all of that is about to change, as streams from companies such as Spotify and Deezer and possibly Shazam, Vevo and Youtube will soon be included in the charts. The head of BBC Radio 1, George Ergatoudis, has said that the station will soon include plays from these streaming services, in the official UK Top 40. Happening as soon as this summer, this move will see this data (still separated between sales and streams) compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC), and merged into one Top 100. Those who support this move, argue that the combined chart is more accurate in terms of an actual representation of what the nation is listening to. The streaming chart could be extended to include Shazam, the song capture service which records 15 million “tags” a day, as well as video views on Vevo and YouTube, now the most popular source of music consumption, where hit songs can attract billions of views. The most-viewed videos tend to be sexually explicit offerings by artists such as Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke, or novelty clips like Psy’s Gangnam Style. A chart incorporating billions of “free” music and video plays, at the expense of songs people have actively paid to purchase, would prove meaningless, critics fear. Streams would be “weighted”, so that they count for less than a paid-for single in the new chart, OCC sources indicated. A metric, such as “one iTunes download is worth ten streams”, is being agreed with retailers and record companies. YouTube and Vevo would not be included in the first phase of the streaming chart. The chart compilers, committed to preserving the credibility of the weekly listings, first published in 1952, are moving cautiously.
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