How Will The New Official Singles Chart Impact The Music Industry?
On 6th July, the UK Official Singles Chart will be counting the number of times that songs have been streamed for the very first time. In recognition of the fact that streaming music is quite different to buying it, every 100 streams that a song has will equate to one purchase.
In an age when music has never been more readily available to listen to, it is easy to see why the Official Charts Company have taken streaming into account. If you were to ask all the people that you know, chances are that most of them will have an account on or regularly uses the likes of Spotify, Deezer, Napster and others to consume music.
While the move is definitely a reflection of today’s generation of music lovers, the new chart system could cause issues regarding authenticity. The widespread use of the hashtag and attempts at Twitter takeovers by obsessive fans could urge such fans to listen to their idols’ songs on repeat in order to influence their place in the chart. It gives fans a brand new opportunity to ensure the success of their favourite singer or band without spending their money buying multiple copies of the same song.
The outcome for up and coming artists is dubious. On the one hand, the inclusion of streaming to make up the singles chart could bring new artists the recognition they deserve. The downfall here, though, is that if more people stream their music rather than actually purchase it, they may not even have enough money to continue with their career. This in turn could affect the range of music available to us as consumers. If artists produce music which is popular but doesn’t bring in profit, this music will no longer have any money behind it to enable artists to continue with their work.
The new chart can mean happy days for existing artists. For people who don’t wish to buy music, counting streaming in the chart gives artists the recognition that illegal downloads do not. Furthermore, many people use streaming services to listen to their favourite music when their collection of (purchased) music is unavailable to them.
It’s a smart move of the Official Charts Company to not allow YouTube and VEVO views to contribute to the chart. It is common for consumers to watch music videos just for the video rather than the actual song, especially when there is hype surrounding a video. Again, the influence of social media has a direct effect on how many views a music video gets, and does not necessarily represent the popularity of the music.
What do you think of the new Official Singles Chart? Let us know in the comments below.