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Spotify and Deezer streaming now counts towards UK charts

Tom Morgan
23 Jun 2014
Spotify
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Official Charts Company confirms streaming music will count towards the race to Number One from July

The Official Charts Company has confirmed that streaming music will count towards the UK singles chart for the first time from July onwards, meaning music services such as Spotify and Deezer will now count towards the weekly race to Number One.

Currently, music streaming isn't taken into account when calculating the UK's most popular singles - only CD sales and paid downloads, along with the more niche vinyl, cassette, MiniDisc and flexi disc, count towards sales figures. That's set to change from the 6th of July, when streaming music will also be taken into account. Streaming music has doubled in popularity in the past year and now averages 260 million songs per week, but the most streamed track in UK history, Bastille's Pompeii, only ever made number two in the UK singles chart.

From next month, Spotify, Deezer, Sony Music Unlimited, Napster, O2 Tracks and Xbox Music will provide charts compilers with weekly streaming data. 100 streams of a song will count as one single purchased, and must be played for at least 30 seconds to count as a stream. Only ten plays will be counted per user per day, in order to avoid gaming the system. However, this may not be enough to make a major difference to the Chart standings. When the Official Charts Company ran initial tests over the last 18 months, streaming services only made a difference to the Number One single once. The top five songs mostly stayed the same as with traditional sales data.

Although the change will provide a better indication of what the UK public is listening to, it still doesn't take into account video views on sites such as YouTube. However, the Official Charts Company confirmed it would review its data sources in the future - possibly once Google launches its rumoured YouTube music streaming service.

Martin Talbot, MD of the Official Charts Company, told the BBC that the move had been considered for some time, but the time was right based on the popularity of streaming services.

"So far this year we've seen nine tracks which have been streamed more than one million times in a week. Last year there were only two tracks that had reached that kind of level, so we're seeing a huge growth, up 50% in the first half of this year."

The first Official Singles Chart to take streaming music into account will be broadcast on the 6th of July on BBC Radio One.