The UK's Official Charts Company is adding music streams to its accounting system for what's popular. For charting purposes they're valuing 100 streams as the equivalent of one single sold, whether physical or a download. But they're taking it one step at a time and aren't ready to consider such possibilities as adding YouTube streams. Why? Well, because they've never counted video downloads so why should they add video streams?
On Sunday the Official Charts Company, which produces UK-specific music and video charts, announced the inclusion of streaming data beginning next month:
"The move to include streams in the Official Singles Chart was made possible by the agreement of on-demand audio streaming services including Spotify, Deezer, Napster, O2 Tracks, Xbox Music, Sony's Music Unlimited and rara (powered by Omnifone), all members of the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), co-owners of the Official Charts Company, to supply weekly streaming data."
So what's a stream worth these days?
"To reflect the difference in weight between streaming and purchasing, 100 streams will count as equivalent to 1 single (download or physical single) in the chart compilation process."
Even so, with weekly streams up to 260 million, this addition will certainly affect chart standings.
Official Charts Company CEO Martin Talbot stated:
“The Official Singles Chart is (and always has been) the most trusted and definitive measure of Britain’s music tastes. Just as it has evolved through the years to reflect the most popular music in the UK, from 12" to 7", vinyl to cassingles, CD singles to downloads, this is the latest stage of that progression – and will align the Official Singles Chart with the consumption habits of the future.”
But not too much of the future, no need to get hasty, as Martin Talbot told Music Ally regarding the exclusion of YouTube streams:
“We have never counted video downloads, so there is no reason to particularly count video streams into the charts.”
No reason except to keep up with what people are actually listening to which I thought was the point of charts.