UK Album Chart to include streaming sales

Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran

The UK album chart is changing to include streaming sales for the first time this month.

The UK album chart is to include streaming sales for the first time this month.

The Official Charts Company are changing the way in which they compile the weekly tables by adding the number of listens on services such as Spotify, Google Play and Deezer to sales figures, but they don't think it will make a big difference at first.

Official Charts Company chief Martin Talbot said: "The Official Charts Company's mission is to compile the most accurate, reliable and up-to-date charts, and in 2015 that means reflecting the popularity of streaming. Indications are that impact on chart positions will be modest to begin with, but we expect this to grow."

To make the changes fair, the Official Charts Company plan to "protect the album as a body of work" by ensuring hugely popular singles don't skew the data or lengthy albums don't have an unfair advantage.

Martin explained to the BBC: "Effectively the chart could become a reflection of artists who have one big hit single.

"So our methodology protects the album as a body of work. We take the 12 most-streamed tracks on an album, and we down-weight the two most popular tracks to make sure the hit singles don't skew the overall performance.

"Then we tot all those streams up and use a conversion rate of 1,000-to-1 to reflect the difference in value between an album and a stream, and that's it.

"We didn't want an album to get an unfair advantage by having 40 tracks on it. So we wanted to reflect consumption and enjoyment of the main body of the album.

"There are peripheral cases where an album that only has eight tracks might be slightly under-represented. But, proportionally, once you divide everything by a thousand, we're not talking about a huge impact. And we'll continue to monitor these things and make sure they're working properly."

In the last year, streaming has seen an increase from 25 million song plays per day up to 50 million, leading to a total of 15 billion listens in the UK over the last 12 months.

The new charts will be published for the first time the week after The Brit Awards, which take place on February 26.

Singles charts have included streaming data since last July.

Ed Sheeran's 'x' was the most streamed album of 2014.


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