Streaming plays to be included alongside downloads in UK Top 40

BBC Radio 1 head said station will include plays from Spotify and Deezer

Streaming data will be included alongside downloads in the UK Top 40 singles chart in a move which breaks the 60-year link between buying a piece of music and its position in the weekly sales round-up.

George Ergatoudis, head of music at BBC Radio 1, has said that the station will soon include plays from digital streaming services, such as Spotify and Deezer, in the official UK Top 40. The new chart could be launched as soon as this Summer, he suggested.

The plans, announced at an industry invent, will see the data from the currently separate sales and streaming charts, compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC), merged into one Top 100.

Whilst supporters of the move say the combined chart will deliver the most accurate representation yet of the nation’s most popular songs, the merger could see paid-for downloads submerged by millions of “free” plays from streaming services.

Last year 183 million singles were bought in the UK, a fall of 3.4%. Digital downloads, mainly from iTunes accounted for 96% of the tracks bought. But streaming doubled in popularity, with UK fans listening to an estimated 7.4 billion tracks from advertiser-funded or subscription services.

The streaming chart could be extended to include Shazam, the song capture service which records 15 million “tags” a day, as well as video views on Vevo and YouTube, now the most popular source of music consumption, where hit songs can attract billions of views.

The most-viewed videos tend to be sexually explicit offerings by artists such as Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke, or novelty clips like Psy’s Gangnam Style.

A chart incorporating billions of “free” music and video plays, at the expense of songs people have actively paid to purchase, would prove meaningless, critics fear.

Streams would be “weighted”, so that they count for less than a paid-for single in the new chart, OCC sources indicated. A metric, such as “one iTunes download is worth ten streams”, is being agreed with retailers and record companies.

YouTube and Vevo would not be included in the first phase of the streaming chart. The chart compilers, committed to preserving the credibility of the weekly listings, first published in 1952, are moving cautiously.

An OCC spokesman said: “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’.”

David Joseph, the CEO of Universal Music, which holds the biggest industry market share, said the UK charts risked becoming irrelevant if they didn’t incorporate streaming soon.

The US Billboard Hot 100 has incorporated streaming data since 2007. The US chart also includes radio airplay and You Tube views, including spoof versions of songs, which have become hugely popular hits in their own right.

One consequence of a streaming chart is that the biggest hits tend to linger longer, potentially blocking new entries.

Artists like Thom Yorke, who have snubbed Spotify, which currently has 24 million users, over its royalty payment rates, may find that their chart position suffers as a result.

New and independent artists may struggle to break into the top 40 if their songs aren’t available on streaming services, or actively promoted to users whose playlists favour the most familiar tracks.

The chart would be less easily manipulated by political campaigns, which can currently get a song into the top 40 via a few thousand download sales.

However “indie” bands may not necessarily suffer from a streaming-incorporated chart. The most streamed artist in 2013 was Arctic Monkeys followed by the Brit-award nominated London group, Bastille.

Apple is rolling out a streaming radio service to combat a decline in paid-for downloads of albums and singles as services such as Spotify, which offers ad-free, unlimited music consumption from £4.99 a month, have begun to eat into record sales.

Vevo indicated that it is in discussions for its data to be included in the official streaming chart. That move could be precursor to video views being included in the new integrated chart at a future date.

Arts and Entertainment
James Hewitt has firmly denied being Harry’s father

Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
TVDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
The Baker (James Corden) struggles with Lilla Crawford’s Little Red Riding Hood

film...all the better to bamboozle us
Arts and Entertainment
English: Romantic Landscape

Arts and Entertainment
Laugh a minute: Steph Parker with Nigel Farage

Arts and Entertainment
Comic Ivor Dembina has staged his ‘Traditional Jewish Xmas Eve Show’ for the past 20 years; the JNF UK charity is linked to the Jewish National Fund, set up to fund Jewish people buying land in Palestinian territories

Arts and Entertainment
Transformers: Age of Extinction was the most searched for movie in the UK in 2014

Arts and Entertainment
Mark Ronson has had two UK number two singles but never a number one...yet

Arts and Entertainment
Clara Amfo will take over from Jameela Jamil on 25 January

Arts and Entertainment
This is New England: Ken Cheeseman, Ann Dowd, Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins in Olive Kitteridge

The most magnificently miserable show on television in a long timeTV
Arts and Entertainment
Andrea Faustini looks triumphant after hearing he has not made it through to Sunday's live final

Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
    Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

    Scarred by the bell

    The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
    Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

    Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

    Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
    The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

    The Locked Room Mysteries

    As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
    Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

    How I made myself Keane

    Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
    Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

    Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

    Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
    A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

    Wear in review

    A look back at fashion in 2014
    Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

    Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

    Might just one of them happen?
    War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

    The West needs more than a White Knight

    Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
    Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

    'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

    Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
    The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

    The stories that defined 2014

    From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
    Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

    Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

    Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?