After an overwhelmingly popular petition The Recording Academy are changing their rules to allow streaming only music, opening the Grammys up to new artists.

Last month we reported on a petition that was going around to help artists who make their music free online eligible for Grammy nominations. The petition received loads of support, including big names like Chance the Rapper who was himself ineligible for a Grammy due to making all his music available for free.

Now it’s official, the Grammys will now accept streaming only music as potential for the renowned music awards show. The news was announced yesterday on the Grammy Awards’ website and will take effect immediately, meaning that at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards next February we could see the first streaming-exclusive nominations.

Senior vice president of awards for The Recording Academy, Bill Freimuth said: “The Grammys aren’t just peer-awarded, they’re peer driven. Throughout the year, members of the music community come to us asking to make changes to the Awards process, and we work with them to figure out how those changes might work. I’m proud of this year’s changes because they’re a testament to the artists, producers and writers – the people who rolled up their sleeves to shape the proposals and, in turn, the future of Grammys. It’s exactly what they should be doing. It’s their award.”

There are also some other changes coming to the Grammys, such as a reduction in how many categories members can vote to ensure that members are voting in their most experienced and passionate areas. Whereas before Academy members could vote in up to 20 categories it has now reduced to 15, not including the General Field categories – Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Best New Artist.

A bunch of other smaller changes have been made to the specifications for a number of categories which you can read in the Grammys article here.