The number of times a song has been streamed is now officially part of the ranking process of a song in the United Kingdom.
From now on, alongside purchases and downloads, the Official Charts Company will consider the streaming of a song on platforms such as Spotify, Deezer, Napster, Rara, Xbox Music and Music Unlimited to determine its position in the singles chart.
This reform comes nine years after the last big reform to the UK singles chart which added legal downloads to the count.
The reason behind the reform was that the streaming market is in constant progress and becoming one of the main sources of ways of listening to music. So after evolving in response to the popularity of vinyl records, cassettes, CDs and downloads, this move seemed to be the next logical step.
To stay fair to the count, the single will need to be streamed a hundred times to be equivalent to the purchase of this same single.
The UK Official Charts Company is not the only organism to have taken this measure. Indeed, the BPI which hands over gold, silver or platinum discs also takes streaming into account. It seems to be the right move to make as it has become fully part of our daily habits to stream music. And to move forward with its time, organisms like these must include streamings.
Artists welcome this reform as it was possible to have over a million streams without making number one in the chart. This was the case of Bastille’s single “Pompeii” which was the song the most streamed ever but only arrived at number two in the chart. With this change, the chart will become more accurate.
However, it is unlikely that this will considerably change the chart as the majority of the singles that are the most streamed are also the most downloaded or purchased. This was the case of Daft Punk’s “Get lucky” which was the second best sold album and the most streamed track of the year.
Nevertheless, let’s remind ourselves that the amount of money that an artist gets per stream is close to nothing, so if they had to rely on this income, they would be out of business in a year. It is in this way important that streaming doesn’t take too much importance as this will certainly not encourage artists to start a singing career.
Victoria Lafay
Etudiante en Droit de l’économie numérique

A propos de Victoria Lafay