Billboard to add streaming metrics to its ‘200 Chart’
One of the music industry’s most prestigious charts is getting with the times. Starting December 3, Billboard‘s 200 Chart will acknowledge multiple consumption methods, including on-demand streaming and digital track sales.
It’s good news for services like Spotify and Beats Music, not to mention artists in general, bringing a more productive focus to the streaming debate amidst recent criticism regarding the monetary value of the streaming market for artists. In the biggest shake-up of the system since 1991, changes include the recognition of ten digital track purchases from a single album or 1,500 song streams from any one album as an equivalent album sale. With artists across the board eclipsing formal album sales with streams and digital downloads, the data from its launch on Thanksgiving weekend is sure to turn heads throughout the industry.
Industry professionals are already welcoming this upgrade to the charts. Jim Urie, president/CEO of Universal Music Distribution, told Billboard: “Including streaming information is the next step in the evolution of the industry’s accurate measurement of music consumption,” he said. “Streaming is the fastest growing configuration we now have and having it included in Billboard‘s chart is a welcome improvement.”
The Billboard charts are no longer a sales game. With digital track sales already accounted for in the Billboard top 100, the chart’s latest upgrade spells a last minute yet welcome win for the digital and streaming markets here in 2014.