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Billboard charts to distinguish between free and paid streams starting in 2018

Billboard announced that will adjust how it weights streaming equivalents for its charts. Under the current system, Billboard only distinguishes between streams from on-demand platforms and streams from programmed services, with more weight given to the on-demand plays. Beginning in 2018, Billboard will begin weighting paid streams more heavily than free listening streams.

The change recognizes that there are some platforms that require subscriptions, such as Apple Music or Amazon Music, and others that are hybrids with a paid option, such as Spotify or SoundCloud. Billboard said it will differentiate between the free and paid streams in hybrid services. Video streams will still only be a part of the Hot 100 list, and will not contribute to the Billboard 200 chart.

“The shift to a multi-level streaming approach to Billboard’s chart methodology is a reflection of how music is now being consumed on streaming services, migrating from a pure on-demand experience to a more diverse selection of listening preferences (including playlists and radio), and the various options in which a consumer can access music based on their subscription commitment,” the Billboard staff said in announcing the change. “It is Billboard’s belief that assigning values to the levels of consumer engagement and access – along with the compensation derived from those options – better reflects the varied user activity occurring on these services.”

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Anna Washenko

4 Comments

  1. Streaming is destroying the Music Industry.
    There is a lot of discussion regarding the fair payment of writers and performers of music
    that is being streamed – whether for a very small price per stream or for free.

    At Dynamic, where we have many, many recordings available on CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon,
    we feel that our income and our Artists’ incomes have been adversely affected by the policies
    in place right now. A look at our earnings demonstrates that through the first quarter of 2016,
    our revenues are only at 67% of the same quarter last year.
    2015 was down slightly from 2014, and I’m guessing that if we had not
    added additional titles during 2015, the difference
    may have been more significant. If this trend continues through
    2017, being down 33% in income is not good.

    And we’re only one company – if other musicians, record
    companies, independent performers, etc., are seeing the
    same trend, it’s a serious loss in income to people who are not being
    compensated properly for streamed music.

    We believe we should all unite with the others who have taken a
    stand to gain reasonable payment for artistic endeavors.

    Spotify payment to Dynamic Recording:
    Streams last 90 days 03/01/17
    Spotify – Streams – 18,115
    iTunes – TK downloads – 683
    Apple Music – Streams – 15,490
    Pennies from Spotify and apple:
    Feb 10, 2017 Spotify Sale $0.87 details
    Feb 10, 2017 Spotify Sale $0.49 details
    Feb 10, 2017 Spotify Sale $0.51 details

    Radio stations pay us 8.5 cents per play.
    CDBaby, iTunes, and Amazon all pay fairly.
    Music buyers love the free music and do not purchase or download selections.
    Many top Artists have pulled their music from streaming services because their sales
    and downloads have dried up. If we can’t get the streaming companies to pay
    a fair share, the music industry, especially for independent musicians, will be destroyed !

    Sincerely,

    Dave Kaspersin
    Dynamic Recording Indie Label

    • You still forget other factors, such as your music may not be good, therefore = not worth buying.

      • Exactly, Billy Bob! There are factors such as popularity, good music, etc. that affect sales.

      • I found a listing of his music. www(dot)dynamicmusic(dot)com/
        Beth hit the nail on the head. Amongst indie music, his music isn’t popular. Lack of popularity is a major factor into why he has poor sales.

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