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> Streaming | General Discussion, FAQs, debates, etc.
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JosephCarey
post Dec 12 2015, 02:37 PM
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Welcome

Welcome to the general streaming thread. In post 1 here, there's a FAQ section to give you answers about streaming and its inclusion in the chart. You can also use this thread to ask your own questions, and someone will kindly answer for you. Please post any streaming debates in here too, because we know many of you feel very passionately about streaming's inclusion in the chart. It's started to take over particular threads and us moderators have decided to confine it to one thread!

Rules

As this is a debate thread also, I'd like to lay down some guidelines just to ensure we all play nicely.

- Please respect other people's opinions. It's fine to disagree, but be constructive with your reply rather than rude.
- Linking to the point above, don't feel offended if someone disagrees with you, it's a debate thread.
- Don't feel afraid to share your view or ask a question, everyone here is nice really heehee.gif

FAQ

What is audio streaming?
Audio streaming is essentially the transmission of sound through a web network. It can refer to simple audio clips on websites for example, but in the context of this thread, it means playing a song or album through a web service such as Spotify.

Where can I stream songs?
There are numerous different places to stream music. YouTube is one, but that is not an "audio streaming" service as recognised by the Official Charts Company (OCC) - it's video streaming. The main service used for streaming is Spotify, which takes up the vast majority of the market. Other services are Apple Music, Deezer, Tidal, Napster, O2 Tracks, Xbox Music, Google Play, Sony's Music Unlimited and rara.

How does it count to the singles chart?
Since July 2014, streaming has been combined with download and physical sales to make up the Official Singles Chart. It is weighted so that one stream is the same as 0.01 sales, so a download or a CD/vinyl single will take priority. In other words, this means that 100 streams equal one sale. This is then combined with the sales figures to create "chart sales", and these then help order the official chart.

What difference does this make to the official chart?
Streaming has made a huge impact on the official chart so far, and that's why it's so divisive. Typically speaking, it favours big hits over new songs, which take longer to build up. This means that new songs may be at a disadvantage to enter at #1, or the top 10, and therefore end up with a lower peak. Union J's You Got It All was #1 on sales at the end of 2014, but got knocked down to #2 due to far superior streaming from Ed Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud. This made it the first song to miss #1 despite being the biggest seller of the week. Other songs to have lost out on the top spot due to streaming include Nick Jonas' Jealous, Sigma's Glitterball and Deorro's Five More Hours.

On the other hand, only one song has been #1 officially without ever topping the sales chart at the time of writing. This song is Justin Bieber's Sorry, which spent two weeks at #1 in November 2015 but was at #2 behind Adele's Hello on sales both weeks.

But wait, can't I just put a song on repeat and help it climb the chart?
No, only 10 streams count per user per day on any streaming service. For example, I could listen to Justin Bieber's Love Yourself 20 times on Spotify and 20 times on Apple Music today, but only the first 10 from Spotify and the first 10 from Apple Music will count.

On a similar note, you must listen to at least 30 seconds of the song for it to count. You cannot just press play and then skip it 9 further times to total 10 plays!

OK, so how does it work for albums then?
It's slightly different for albums. Streaming has been included amongst physical and digital sales since February 2015. Firstly, each stream is 0.001 sales this time, meaning that 1 sale is equal to 1000 streams (not 100). This means that sales have even more precedence in the album chart.



The top 12 most streamed tracks are taken from the standard edition of an album. The top 2 songs will be downweighted, to the average of the other 10 songs. This is to combat an album being artificially boosted by one or two hit singles. The total of these songs is then added together and divided by 1000 to give a streaming total for the album.

The OCC said of this method: "The reason for the down-weighting is to ensure that if an album features up to two runaway hit singles, streams of these tracks do not skew the performance of their parent album in the Official Albums Chart. Extreme examples of this include huge hits such as Blurred Lines on the Robin Thicke album of the same name, Get Lucky on Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, All Of Me on John Legend’s album Love In The Future, or Uptown Funk on Mark Ronson’s Uptown Special - but this is also a broader issue affecting many more albums."



Otherwise, the same rules apply. Only 10 plays per user per day, and 30 seconds of each track must be heard.

Does streaming have a big effect on the album chart?
Definitely not. It boosts some albums but not noticeably at the top end of the chart. To date, every official #1 album has been the biggest selling. Some albums have however been denied a top 10 position due to streaming, such as Kacey Musgraves' Pageant Material in 2015, which debuted at #11 officially.

If you have any more questions, please post them in the thread here, we will do our best to answer them!

Helpful Buzzjack Threads

Spotify Chart Thread
Apple Music Chart Thread

Changes to the #1 single due to streaming
Changes in top 10 weeks due to streaming
Changes in top 40 weeks due to streaming (2014 | 2015)
Changes in peak position in the top 40 due to streaming (2014 | 2015)

Singles Streaming Chart #1s
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vidsanta
post Dec 12 2015, 03:22 PM
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Streaming seems rather fanbase-dependent, with younger artists gaining significantly more benefit than those who established themselves during the physical sales, or even dowload era.
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JosephCarey
post Dec 12 2015, 03:26 PM
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QUOTE(vidcapper @ Dec 12 2015, 03:22 PM) *
Streaming seems rather fanbase-dependent, with younger artists gaining significantly more benefit than those who established themselves during the physical sales, or even dowload era.


Interesting point but I'm not sure I agree actually. The likes of The Vamps, 5SOS, Nathan Sykes, etc. rely on younger fanbases to sell records and these acts have not benefited at all from streaming. Justin Bieber used to rely on this but his recent streaming success has been down to gaining a much broader, more casual listener base.
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Bjork
post Dec 12 2015, 07:11 PM
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I personally don't like how album streams are counted in the UK. If I understand it well, if you stream a song it counts for both the single and album charts = double counting. E.g. if you stream Bieber´s album you also contribute to his songs charting in the single charts...

Wouldn't the Scandinavian model be better? If you stream more than 6 songs off an album, then it counts to the album charts only as 1 sale, and not to the singles charts.
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Dasher
post Dec 12 2015, 08:21 PM
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Seems like an appropriate place to voice my continual bewilderment at the fact that streaming counts to the weekly totals and chart positions but not to the YTD ones. As sales continue to dwindle the disparity between these two lists will become more and more noticeable, hopefully the OCC will see the pointlessness of this exercise and include them in all calculations and one "total". I don't like Streaming per se but now that the decision has been made the OCC need to jump fully on board as it's the only logical solution to this issue.
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Steve201
post Dec 12 2015, 09:58 PM
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QUOTE(JosephCarey @ Dec 12 2015, 03:26 PM) *
Interesting point but I'm not sure I agree actually. The likes of The Vamps, 5SOS, Nathan Sykes, etc. rely on younger fanbases to sell records and these acts have not benefited at all from streaming. Justin Bieber used to rely on this but his recent streaming success has been down to gaining a much broader, more casual listener base.


I think the acts you mention haven't benefitted from streaming because they haven't produced a good enough song to merit huge success, obv that's my opinion but none of heir songs have been huge and generated interest with people outside their core fan base.
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diamondtooth
post Dec 13 2015, 07:39 PM
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I also wonder, if I listen to one song does it count to both the singles chart AND (to a lesser extent) the album chart?
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JosephCarey
post Dec 13 2015, 07:41 PM
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QUOTE(diamondtooth @ Dec 13 2015, 07:39 PM) *
I also wonder, if I listen to one song does it count to both the singles chart AND (to a lesser extent) the album chart?


It does indeed!
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girl_from_oz
post Dec 14 2015, 12:45 AM
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Streaming is dominated by playlists, probably playlists created by spotify and the labels. There's probably less of people playing random songs like I do.
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vidsanta
post Dec 14 2015, 05:23 PM
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QUOTE(Dasher @ Dec 12 2015, 08:21 PM) *
Seems like an appropriate place to voice my continual bewilderment at the fact that streaming counts to the weekly totals and chart positions but not to the YTD ones.


AFAICS, album streams *do* count towards the YTD/overall totals, as when I reworked my album YTD figures on that basis, all the anomalies that had me banghead.gif resolved themselves. smile.gif
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Bjork
post Dec 14 2015, 05:28 PM
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and shouldn't they fix it so that a song can count for one or the other chart but not both??
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btljs
post Dec 15 2015, 08:51 AM
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On the double counting of songs towards both singles and albums charts: the main issue here is inconsistency - if you download an album (as I understand it) each track doesn't count towards the singles chart (?) and that kept digital sales in line with physical sales. But that presents a problem for streaming as there is no obvious way of counting one continuous album stream (would there be a time limit between tracks? would the tracks have to be in the right order? etc.) so they plumped for this weird calculation based on individual track streams. They could have turned this round onto the singles chart and only allowed the excess sales of the top 2 tracks above the average (which aren't counted in the album chart); this would have prevented the Bieber effect where a big new album release swamps the singles chart, but it goes against their ethos of counting every song download and stream in the singles chart.

It is worth remembering that the main purpose of the charts is to promote the market. When sales fall, the market looks bad, so the inclusion of streaming keeps the market looking buoyant and healthy while downloads nosedive. I think they've missed a crucial factor though, which is that the chart must also be dynamic, with new songs coming in and old ones falling out. While streaming is growing, new songs have a built in advantage so it has held up OK, but the cracks are starting to show: fewer and fewer new entries, songs lingering in the chart for over a year. If artists can't get their new songs into the chart because of a backlog of album tracks by a handful of Sheerans or Biebers, then the chart loses its relevance to them, their fans and promoters.
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Steve201
post Dec 15 2015, 08:57 AM
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Theyve obviously learned their lessons from letting Orson go to No1 with 17k sales in 2006 lol
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Bjork
post Dec 15 2015, 09:05 AM
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but I think (not 100% sure though) that in Scandinavian countries there is no double counting and it's an easy solution: if you stream more than x% of an album, then that's 1 album sale, and that goes to the album charts, not the singles charts... if you just stream <x songs (i.e. 2 or 3) then it does not count for the albums but the singles charts. That seems like a very easy solution to me...
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btljs
post Dec 15 2015, 06:51 PM
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QUOTE(Bjork @ Dec 15 2015, 09:05 AM) *
but I think (not 100% sure though) that in Scandinavian countries there is no double counting and it's an easy solution: if you stream more than x% of an album, then that's 1 album sale, and that goes to the album charts, not the singles charts... if you just stream <x songs (i.e. 2 or 3) then it does not count for the albums but the singles charts. That seems like a very easy solution to me...

What's the time limit? Does it count if you stream something else in between the tracks or log off for a while and come back?
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girl_from_oz
post Dec 15 2015, 07:57 PM
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QUOTE(btljs @ Dec 15 2015, 06:51 PM) *
What's the time limit? Does it count if you stream something else in between the tracks or log off for a while and come back?



Yes I wanna know about this
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vidsanta
post Dec 23 2015, 07:18 AM
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One of the most significant effects of streaming is how it has slowed down the singles chart.

In the last year before streaming counted : 2013, there were 144 new T10 hits in 52 weeks, averaging 3.6 weeks residence

This year, there have been only 104 new T10 hits in 51 weeks, averaging 4.9 weeks residence.

That's a 36% slowdown in turnover in just 2 years.

In comparison, in 2004 there were 240 T10 hits, averaging just 2.2 weeks each.
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diamondtooth
post Dec 23 2015, 08:38 AM
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Also if I listen to Spotify 'offline' how are those streams counted?
Are the added when I put my phone/devise back online?
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vidsanta
post Dec 23 2015, 09:23 AM
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QUOTE(diamondtooth @ Dec 23 2015, 08:38 AM) *
Also if I listen to Spotify 'offline' how are those streams counted?
Are the added when I put my phone/devise back online?


Interesting point.

I listen to a lot of music on my iPod - is it fair that those do not count towards the chart, yet streamed listens do? confused.gif
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post Dec 23 2015, 09:25 AM
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^^ They don't count when listened too offline as I believe they can be manipulated too much - Streams are counted when online as the IP address restricts 10 listens/sales, When offline it can't do this so you could listen to a song 1,000 on repeat then if these counted when you connected they would all count as sales.
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