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Billboard To Include Song Streams In Ranking System


new charts

Times are really changing the music business, the industry has to evolve, that’s really the rule, and a big change is going to happen in the chart system. So far only album sales were considered to rank albums, but starting December 3rd, Billboard and Nielsen SoundScan will be incorporating data from streaming services, according to the New York Times.

These are Spotify times, the industry is starting to get it, and this is the biggest change in album ranking system since 1956. The new chart will appear on Billboard’s website on December 4th and published on December 13th, giving a better image of what people actually listen to. ‘We were always limited to the initial impulse, when somebody purchased an album,’ said Silvio Pietroluongo, Billboard’s director of charts, in an interview. ‘Now we have the ability to look at that engagement and gauge the popularity of an album over time.’

But the overall picture will be very different, for example, the NY Times reports that Ariana Grande’s ‘My Everything’ had already dropped to nº 36 on last week chart, but should be nº9 according to this new system.

Beside Spotify, Beats Music, Rdio, Rhapsody and Google Play will be included and 1,500 song streams will be regarded as equivalent of an album sale, why 1,500? Your guess will be mine! May be some complicated calculation, or just some weird equivalence system. Does it mean that, when you buy a CD, you listen to it 1,500 times?

One thing is certain, CD sales and downloads have declined because of streaming services, and, as senior analyst at Nielsen David Bakula says ‘Album sales have become a smaller and smaller part of the industry. To just look at album sales and say this is how we measure success is really leaving out that half of the business that is coming from streams and song sales.’

So my question is, will this dethrone Taylor Swift because she has removed her music from Spotify? Bakula thinks it’s simply impossible: ‘No amount of streaming in the world could keep Taylor from No. 1,’ he declared… this girl is definitively way too powerful for my taste.

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