UK singles chart to incorporate streaming data, says Radio 1 boss

The head of music at BBC Radio 1 has said the station is to incorporate streaming data into the top 40 singles chart.

George Ergatoudis (pictured) revealed the move at an industry event and later tweeted to clarify that the data would come from a range of streaming services, not just Spotify.

The Official Charts Company currently keeps tabs on streaming data in a separate chart, but this move will effectively merge that one with the sales chart.

The decision will also make the UK chart more akin to the US Billboard Hot 100, which has included streaming data since 2007 and last February began to incorporate YouTube streams as well – a state of affairs that has rewarded viral hits and acts with meme-spawning videos, like Baauer’s ‘Harlem Shake’ and Miley Cyrus’ ‘Wrecking Ball’.

At the time, the Official Charts Company said that no similar moves were planned in the UK, emphasising that the UK chart has always been “purely sales-based”. 

Asked to clarify their position following Ergatoudis’ announcement, the Official Charts Company stated: “We’ve always said we are monitoring the rise of streaming as a form of consumption, but nothing has changed. Streaming is growing fast, so we are looking at it, but we are currently going through the ‘how’, before we work out the ‘when’.”

The move will no doubt reignite debate over the rise of streaming and the impact on artists. Last year Atoms For Peace removed their catalogue from Spotify and slammed the service as “bad for new music”, prompting Spotify to defend its commitment to being “artist-friendly”. [via Guardian; NME]



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