Streaming-only songs now qualify for Grammys
Streaming is quickly eclipsing mp3-purchasing as the new standard way of music consumption. Swift growth across companies like Spotify and SoundCloud caught the attention of the Recording Academy, which soon began laying out plans to include songs exclusively available through these mediums in the drawing for next year Grammy Awards. “The goal was to include recordings that were worthy of Grammy consideration that were streaming-only — which it turns out were a pretty small number — and exclude the 12-year-old singing a Beyonce cover into her comb that’s easy to put up online also these days for streaming,” noted Awards SVP Bill Freimuth in a recent press statement about the change.
The Academy implemented the new qualifier by adding onto the “general distribution” clause of award requirements, where “applicable streaming services” fall under the category under the condition that they offer paid subscription-based services with a full catalogue and that they have existed for over a year upon submission date. In other words, an artists whose track only exists on a service like Apple Music, their work can now qualify for a Grammy in 2017. The language used also accomplishes the aforementioned goal of Freimuth to exclude “amateur” tracks.
Services listed who are just a little too young for the September 30 cutoff include the recently-introduced SoundCloud Go, and Pandora, which lacks an on-demand subscription service. The amendments to award eligibility are further joined by three new changes within the Recording Academy, which also relaxed release requirements for those contending to be “Best New Artist,” limiting the amount of votes members get in award categories, and allowing the rap category to include vocal work within its nominated tracks.