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> Albums Chart - Discussion, Does it have a future?
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Steve201
post Aug 25 2020, 05:07 PM
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There's been a lot of chat on the midweeks about the way the albums chart is calculated - feel free to discuss

This post has been edited by Steve201: Aug 25 2020, 05:11 PM
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jlj
post Aug 25 2020, 05:09 PM
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A brilliant idea for its own separate thread!

Iíll think of what it is I want to suggest and reply later but Iím here for this!
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Steve201
post Aug 25 2020, 05:14 PM
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Yeh it probably merits a discussion anyway lol.
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T Boy
post Aug 25 2020, 05:17 PM
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Sales only. Most people who stream donít stream albums. ĎSalesí are now overinflated. I know that actual sales are really low but I also donít see why thatís a big enough issue to artificially inflate everyoneís greatest hits.
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JosephStyles
post Aug 25 2020, 05:20 PM
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I think streaming needs to be included in some fashion but the problem is the constant presence of Greatest Hits albums I think - obviously it's clear that the compilations from Bob Marley, Fleetwood Mac, Queen, ABBA, Elton, etc are unlikely to ever leave the album chart now because their music is timeless and always popular, but does it really reflect the most popular albums of the week? It's a difficult one to manage.

I'm less bothered about situations like Mabel's album and its constantly growing tracklist as it's basically re-issuing the album (even if it takes the concept a bit far).
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j80
post Aug 25 2020, 05:20 PM
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Overall, it has far more fresh talent, movement and a diversity of genres that the singles chart does. It’s not perfect but to me it’s operating relatively well with the 2 songs downgraded rule and the weighting of sales. It feels like it actually measures who cares about an artist or album.

The one thing I think needs changing is the hits compilations. They can’t forever chart it’s wrong - a stream should count to whatever album it’s played from. If you choose Mr. brightside from Hot Fuss, that album gets the stream, if you choose it from Direct Hits, that album does.

It’s the singles chart that’s broken! We decided not to include airplay like the US does, but hitting play on a playlist chosen by a big company now determines what charts - it’s no different to listening to radio. Playlists should be downweighted to the 600:1 ratio regardless of if the play is premium or free. The singles chart used to show what people had paid and *chosen* to consume, that is now not always the case.


This post has been edited by j80: Aug 25 2020, 05:26 PM
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No Sleeep
post Aug 25 2020, 05:27 PM
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QUOTE(j80 @ Aug 25 2020, 06:20 PM) *
Overall, it has far more fresh talent, movement and a diversity of genres that the singles chart does. Itís not perfect but to me itís operating relatively well with the 2 songs downgraded rule and the weighting of sales. It feels like it actually measures who cares about an artist or album.

The one thing I think needs changing is the hits compilations. They canít forever chart itís wrong - a stream should count to whatever album itís played from. If you choose Mr. brightside from Hot Fuss, that album gets the stream, if you choose it from Direct Hits, that album does.

Itís the singles chart thatís broken! We decided not to include airplay like the US does, but hitting play on a playlist chosen by a big company now determines what charts - itís no different to listening to radio. Playlists should be downweighted to the 600:1 ratio regardless of if the play is premium or free.


Yeah I agree with this, they want to keep the excitement of high sales weeks I guess, but sales are much more spread out. The days of 100k debuts are gone but when these songs rack up 40k/30k/20k per week for a year they ďsellĒ much more in the long run. Bit late now though now that we have so many 2x 3x 4x platinum songs
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Hallo'Riheen
post Aug 25 2020, 05:28 PM
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All Iíd do for the singles chart is change the Ďcut offí point for a stream to count from 30 seconds to 1 minute.

For albums, only album tracks would count in terms of streaming (there wouldnít need to be any downweighting) This would pretty much wipe out old Greatest Hits albums from the chart unless they got good pure sales. If albums as a whole are being listened to than the album tracks rather than the singles is a better representation of its popularity imo happy.gif
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Bjork
post Aug 25 2020, 05:31 PM
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think we had the same discussion 1 month ago.

the solution is very easy, count only proper album streams aka when someone goes and streams songs from the album
and exclude playlists counts, so when you listen from a playlist like Hot hits, a stream from a playlist shouldn't count for the album charts.

the proper album stream chart on Apple is pretty nice, Mabel is not even top 1500, same for Jax Jones or Becky Hill, none are in the top 1500
cos no one streams those albums, all their streams are from playlists

https://kworb.net/charts/apple_a/uk.html

same with compilations, only count if you really stream the compilation, it's an idiotic situation that now if I go and search for Elton John's album - The One,
and I stream the song The One, I also give a stream to his greatest hits Diamonds
again, if you look at the proper album stream chart on Apple, Elton's Diamonds is at #289, nowhere near the top 10 like on the Albums Chart.
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JosephStyles
post Aug 25 2020, 05:37 PM
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QUOTE(No Sleeep @ Aug 25 2020, 06:27 PM) *
Yeah I agree with this, they want to keep the excitement of high sales weeks I guess, but sales are much more spread out. The days of 100k debuts are gone but when these songs rack up 40k/30k/20k per week for a year they ďsellĒ much more in the long run. Bit late now though now that we have so many 2x 3x 4x platinum songs

This can't really be avoided I don't think, it's just a sign of the chart environment we've had to adapt to with streaming (and even with downloads though it seemed less prominent). It's become pointless really to compare the sales of hits today to classic hits from years back, but there's always been difficulty in that - look at how many songs had ridiculously low sales in the early-to-mid noughties! It was just an indicator of the market, but it made comparisons harder.

Thankfully, the OCC seemed to realise the previous ratios were overly generous. The fact so many songs from 2016ish seemed to cruise past 1m with ease seemed to devalue the concept, but especially since the introduction of the split free/paid ratios, 1m feels slightly more of an achievement again (albeit not as much as in the physical / download era but still).

QUOTE(Andrew. @ Aug 25 2020, 06:28 PM) *
All Iíd do for the singles chart is change the Ďcut offí point for a stream to count from 30 seconds to 1 minute.

For albums, only album tracks would count in terms of streaming (there wouldnít need to be any downweighting) This would pretty much wipe out old Greatest Hits albums from the chart unless they got good pure sales. If albums as a whole are being listened to than the album tracks rather than the singles is a better representation of its popularity imo happy.gif

You just know labels will try and flout this rule with songs getting prominent exposure (via TikTok or playlists) yet never promoted to official singles - it blurs the lines and I think it would ultimately end up being messy. Singles are part of albums too anyway and I think they have to be counted in some capacity (especially when being a single doesn't necessarily dictate the most popular songs from an album these days - look at Wishing Well being Juice WRLD's highest song in the chart currently, ahead of singles Come & Go and Smile!)

I agree with the suggestion that songs should count only to the album they're streamed from - so a stream of Whitney's I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) via the Whitney album would only count to the Whitney album in the chart, and not to The Ultimate Collection as well. Playlists seem quite unavoidable though - and where is the line drawn? What if you stream 5 songs from Mabel's album via a playlist? That's a pretty significant number and feels worthy of counting in some small capacity to the chart.
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ts7sfkptm
post Aug 25 2020, 05:37 PM
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the problem you have there is that a song's streams are tracked by the OCC (I think) by ISRCs and most of the time when in a compilation and album both, they have the same ISRC, so I assume that would bring up problems with tracking sad.gif I think streaming counting towards greatest hits is a flaw, it's an albums chart, for actual albums rather than compilations... a stream should count to the album that song is from originally in my opinion, and greatest hits basically only charting on pure sales... It's a tough one though

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JosephStyles
post Aug 25 2020, 05:39 PM
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QUOTE(ts7sfkptm @ Aug 25 2020, 06:37 PM) *
the problem you have there is that a song's streams are tracked by the OCC (I think) by ISRCs and most of the time when in a compilation and album both, they have the same ISRC, so I assume that would bring up problems with tracking sad.gif I think streaming counting towards greatest hits is a flaw, it's an albums chart, for actual albums rather than compilations... a stream should count to the album that song is from originally in my opinion, and greatest hits basically only charting on pure sales... It's a tough one though

This is interesting - thanks for mentioning! I think GH albums charting only on pure sales would put them at a disadvantage, it's difficult for albums to have any sort of longevity without streams these days (hence legacy artists generally entering high and dropping quickly, far quicker than on the sales chart for example). Perhaps this explains the OCC's decision to count to both the album + the GH then, seeing as there's no real way of distinguishing? thinking.gif
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jlj
post Aug 25 2020, 05:41 PM
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Playlist sales should not count for the album charts.

I adore Dua but her debut album shouldíve been out of the top 40 a long long time ago yet itís still there! Thatís just one example thereís many more pretty much all of Edís discography still regularly charts and then thereís the compilations / greatest hits type albums too which for me Iíve always felt they should chart on the compilations anyways the way soundtracks now go into that chart.

Apple actually having an album chart as well (which I presume is which albums as a whole are being streamed) means nothing when by end of the week albums that are way behind end up ahead officially. Like last week for example on the streaming chart Teenage Dream was ahead of Chromatica on streams when thereís no way itís really being streamed more as a whole album.

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ts7sfkptm
post Aug 25 2020, 05:44 PM
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which one is actually a compilation, OCC? Greatest Hits or Greatest Showman soundtrack?! laugh.gif still annoyed at them for that.

QUOTE(JosephStyles @ Aug 25 2020, 06:39 PM) *
Perhaps this explains the OCC's decision to count to both the album + the GH then, seeing as there's no real way of distinguishing? thinking.gif



I guess that's it tbh.
But I also don't see the problem with putting them at a disadvantage, after all, they're just greatest hits albums? don't know really


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Draculadracula
post Aug 25 2020, 05:46 PM
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QUOTE(Bjork @ Aug 26 2020, 01:31 AM) *
the solution is very easy, count only proper album streams aka when someone goes and streams songs from the album
and exclude playlists counts, so when you listen from a playlist like Hot hits, a stream from a playlist shouldn't count for the album charts.

Do you count user made playlists with this? Because I feel like they're doing the lion's share of the action (since instances of artists having 3 or more popular tracks in rotation in the big hit playlists is relatively rare). If so it opens up issues of its own. Like if someone put in the effort to make their own playlist with a trimmed down version of Drake's "Scorpion" with the filler tracks removed, should it not count while someone just looks up Nonstop and plays it, ending up half-heartedly listening to any amount of the next 23 tracks as well because it never got too jarring to bother switching it off and it totally counts?

The situation with greatest hits & pseudo greatest hits isn't great admittedly but I feel like trying to isolate the intent of a listener solely on the source of their stream(s) leads to no shortage of false positives. Sometimes I look up songs and artists on playlists that I know they're on because Spotify's search function is so painfully slow that it's honestly easier. No matter the source, a stream is a stream.


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j80
post Aug 25 2020, 05:48 PM
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QUOTE(JosephStyles @ Aug 25 2020, 06:37 PM) *
I agree with the suggestion that songs should count only to the album they're streamed from - so a stream of Whitney's I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) via the Whitney album would only count to the Whitney album in the chart, and not to The Ultimate Collection as well. Playlists seem quite unavoidable though - and where is the line drawn? What if you stream 5 songs from Mabel's album via a playlist? That's a pretty significant number and feels worthy of counting in some small capacity to the chart.


I see your point, but I just don’t see it as a messy line. The album chart is supposed to measure popularity of albums, not songs. If 5 Mabel tracks are on a playlist the chances are it’s not an album specific or even Mabel specific playlist, so the person clearly hasn’t chosen to engage with that album.

QUOTE(Dircadirca @ Aug 25 2020, 06:46 PM) *
. Sometimes I look up songs and artists on playlists that I know they're on because Spotify's search function is so painfully slow that it's honestly easier. No matter the source, a stream is a stream.

Similarly, for a song I agree a stream is a stream, but for an album I don’t, an album has always be a specific and explicit way of consuming music as opposed to radio and singles and (now to me) playlists. I agree the user made playlist is a difficult one to get right, but I can’t imagine one album only specific playlists are that bigger thing which is the only grey area.


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Tangela
post Aug 25 2020, 05:48 PM
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After a few years of mixing downloads and streaming for both singles and albums chart, I feel that they're not similar enough to be measured together as a combination.

I don't really know what the solution is, in an era where we continue to move more and more towards streaming.

With regards to albums, I stream them now. I buy them on vinyl in the end if I really like the album.
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Draculadracula
post Aug 25 2020, 05:58 PM
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QUOTE(j80 @ Aug 26 2020, 01:48 AM) *
Similarly, for a song I agree a stream is a stream, but for an album I donít, an album has always be a specific and explicit way of consuming music as opposed to radio and singles and (now to me) playlists. I agree the user made playlist is a difficult one to get right, but I canít imagine one album only specific playlists are that bigger thing which is the only grey area.

I think a lot of people have big playlists built from cherry picking albums they like, which they may or may not listen to in order but I don't think that should matter. Heck, I think Chris Brown banks on the fact that people will just put a bunch of his album tracks into their own playlists and because there are so many of them, they're more likely to show up on shuffle.
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Hallo'Riheen
post Aug 25 2020, 06:07 PM
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QUOTE(JosephStyles @ Aug 25 2020, 06:37 PM) *
You just know labels will try and flout this rule with songs getting prominent exposure (via TikTok or playlists) yet never promoted to official singles - it blurs the lines and I think it would ultimately end up being messy. Singles are part of albums too anyway and I think they have to be counted in some capacity (especially when being a single doesn't necessarily dictate the most popular songs from an album these days - look at Wishing Well being Juice WRLD's highest song in the chart currently, ahead of singles Come & Go and Smile!)

I get this, but the vast, vast majority of hit singles are pre-album and will be pushed to radio, if this rule came in then Jax Jones isnít gonna not push their next single to radio and not call it a single. Iím sure their could be criteria for a single aka itís sent to radio, added to hot hits etc
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slowdown73
post Aug 25 2020, 10:08 PM
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There is still a market for albums. The Killers are likely to sell over 50k this week. Yes, album sales are a fraction of what they used to be but record companies are becoming more creative to generate sales. I do wonder whether compilations should now be included in the general album chart again.
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