In a move designed to properly gauge the listening habits of the UK public, the UK Official Charts from this month onwards will include audio streams in its singles chart compilations.
100 streams of a song on an audio streaming service such as Spotify, Deezer, or Napster (among others) will count as the equivalent to one single sale (download or physical single). Listeners are limited to 10 streams per song per day, according to Official Charts Company boss, Martin Talbot, in an interview with NME:
Addressing concerns that the new system could be abused by fans or record labels setting up streams and leaving them playing on repeat, the OCC have capped the maximum number of eligible streams at ten per user per song per day. “We’re capping it at 10 streams per user per day, so an over-enthusiastic One Direction [or Jedward (ed.)] fan can’t just play their new single for seven days solid and skew the figures,” said Talbot.
The move by the UK Official Charts Company follows the decision last year by the US Billboard Charts to include YouTube views towards its Hot 100 compilation.
This is good news for independent and newer artists, who might not have the same marketing machine behind them as larger, more heavily promoted musical acts.
So, if you subscribe to an audio streaming service in the UK, why not stream Free Spirit 10 times a day – it’s easy enough to have running in the background on your computer!