Music streaming from services such as Spotify and Deezer is to be included in the UK’s weekly singles chart for the very first time.
The move, announced by The Official Charts Company, reflects a shift in the way the public listen to music, following a rise from 100 million to 200 million streams per week between 2013 and 2014.
The weekly chart list will also take into account tracks streamed on Music Unlimited, Xbox Music, Rara, Napster and 02 Tracks. Each song will have to be listened to for 30 seconds to be recognised as one stream, with 100 streams counting as the equivalent of one download. The change will come into effect on Sunday 6 July when the official chart is announced on Radio 1 from 4pm, marking the biggest shake-up since legal downloads were added in 2005.
The move follows Sweden, Germany and the USA which already include streams in their official sales charts, the latter updating the weekly Billboard chart in October 2012.
Bastille currently hold the record for the UK’s most streamed track of all time with their 2013 hit Pompeii which only made it to number two in the official countdown.
“So far this year we’ve seen nine tracks which have been streamed more than one million times in a week,” Charts boss Martin Talbot told the BBC. “Last year there were only two tracks that had reached that kind of level. So we’re seeing a huge growth, up 50% in the first half of the year.”
However, Talbot went on to note that the chart summit would likely remain the same, with any changes seen further down. “By and large the most streamed tracks are the same as the most sold tracks. The changes you see are towards the bottom end of the top 10 and further down the chart.”
For the time being, YouTube views will not be taken into account, although the Official Charts Company will regularly review the service’s eligibility. “A video stream is not the same as an audio stream – some people watch a video for different reasons from the reasons they’d listen to an audio track,” explained Talbot.