If ever the importance or credibility of music streaming services was in question in the UK, today marks the end of that debate. From next month, the UK's Official Charts Company will count streaming plays alongside single sales to determine who should be top of the pops.
The chart will now pull in data from services including Spotify, Deezer, Napster, 02 Tracks, Music Unlimited, Rara and Xbox Music, with the first streaming-injected chart rundown airing on BBC Radio 1 on Sunday July 6th. The move sees the Official Charts Company following in the footsteps of its Swedish, German and US counterparts, each of which already includes streaming counts in their respective charts.
In terms of the chart metrics, it's a big shift -- this is the first time a song's number of plays has been counted beyond the point of purchase, and is arguably a fairer representation of a song's ongoing popularity. However, it's unlikely to make a massive difference at the top end of the charts -- popular single sales are usually mirrored by a correlating high number of streams. Those destined to reach number one by sales alone will likely have an equally-high number of streams to support their campaign too. And with YouTube video plays still not being counted, we're still someway off of a complete picture of the nation's current music tastes. [BBC]