‘Billboard’ Charts To Put Greater Emphasis On Paid Subscription Streams

In 2018 the Billboard charts will put a stronger emphasis on paid versus ad-supported streaming subscription activity. It has been traditionally recognized that 1,500 on-demand song streams from an album make up one equivalent album sale (SEA).

Beginning in 2018, plays occurring on paid subscription-based services (such as Amazon Music and Apple Music) or on the paid subscription tiers of hybrid paid/ad-supported platforms (such as SoundCloud and Spotify) will be given more weight in chart calculations than those plays on pure ad-supported services (such as YouTube) or on the non-paid tiers of hybrid paid/ad-supported services.

Currently, Billboard has two defined types of streaming plays for the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart (and our other hybrid songs charts): on-demand (such as Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube) and programmed (such as Pandora and Slacker Radio), with on-demand having a greater weight. The Billboard 200 — and our other consumption-ranked albums charts — uses a single tier of only on-demand audio streams (paid or ad-supported) from subscriptions services. Video streams do not contribute to the Billboard 200’s calculations, but are incorporated into the Hot 100.

The Billboard 200 is made up of sales and streaming data.

The Hot 100 is made up of radio airplay, sales data and streaming.

Read more at Billboard.com.


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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine, MusicRow.com, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. eparker@musicrow.com | @EricTParker

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