Music streaming will have a greater impact on chart positions next year

Billboard have announced a change to how they count streams from services like Spotify and Apple Music towards chart positions.

Starting in 2018 Billboard will have 2 different values for streams based on whether it came from a paid-subscription or was ad-supported. This move will put more value into paid streams, which the music industry have long hailed as a better alternative to ad-supported streams.

Billboard have announced the change as they approach the new year, saying that they have had to consider many changes thanks to the constantly evolving music industry in the wake of digital platforms. Among those considered are whether official music videos on YouTube count towards chart positions, how to work with promotions and bundles,

Billboard said in their announcement post: “This has been an especially challenging year for these deliberations, as we are seeing rapid adoption of new streaming and distribution models that are changing user experience and behaviour at an unprecedented pace.”

Since introducing streams into the charts over the past couple of years Billboard has counted them in two ways; On-Demand plays from services like Spotify, TIDAL, and YouTube, and programmed streams such as Pandora and Slacker Radio which count more like radio plays. Their album charts meanwhile only used on-demand streams from ad-supported and subscription streams.

From next year paid subscriptions will give more value to your streams impact on chart positions, whilst ad-supported streams from Deezer, Spotify and others’ free tiers will count less. This better represents how much the artist receives for each stream and therefore reflects their success aptly. This means music streaming will be represented in 3 different values towards Billboard’s charts.

Billboard say: “It is [our] belief that assigning values to the levels of consumer engagement and access – along with the compensation derived from those options – better reflects the varied user activity occurring on these services. Billboard remains committed to being the book of record when it comes to tracking fan activity in and around music.”

You can see a list of the stores and services that Billboard include in their charts and which bracket their streams will come under below:

Hot 100 (+ Genre Charts) Streaming

Service Audio/Video Data Type
Amazon Music Unlimited Audio Paid
Amazon Prime Audio Paid
Apple Music Audio Paid
Apple Music Video Paid
Google Play Audio Paid
Groove Music Pass (Xbox) Audio Paid
Medianet Audio Paid
Napster Audio Paid
SoundCloud Audio Paid / Ad Supported
Slacker Audio Paid
Spotify Audio Paid / Ad Supported
Tidal Audio Paid
Tidal Video Paid
Vevo on YouTube Video Ad Supported
YouTube Video Ad Supported
AOL Radio (Powered by Slacker) Audio Programmed
Google Radio Audio Programmed
Napster Audio Programmed
Pandora Audio Programmed
Slacker Audio Programmed

 

 

Billboard 200 (+ Genre Album Charts) Streaming Services

Service Audio/Video Data Type
Amazon Music Unlimited Audio Paid
Amazon Prime Audio Paid
Apple Music Audio Paid
Google Play Audio Paid
Groove Music Pass (Xbox) Audio Paid
Medianet Audio Paid
Napster Audio Paid
Slacker Audio Paid
SoundCloud Audio Paid / Ad Supported
Spotify Audio Paid / Ad Supported
Tidal Audio Paid
Head of Social Media and Marketing, RouteNote