YouTube Views To Count Toward UK Singles Charts

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The UK singles chart is getting a major overhaul. For the first time ever, the conventional method of ranking UK singles will take streams from official YouTube videos into account. While unofficial videos or other user-generated content will not count towards the streams of an artist, official videos played on YouTube, Tidal, Apple, and Spotify will.

YouTube views to count toward UK singles charts

YouTube has grown leaps and bounds since its launch in 2005, and it is foolish to ignore the platform’s influence in the music industry. Music videos have thrived on YouTube, with Despacito currently over 5.2 billion views, there is simply an audience there which cannot be ignored. Having this in mind, the Official Charts Company decided it’s no longer logical to ignore the massive power of YouTube.

To be fair, it wasn’t logical to ignore it five years ago…

The new changes will reflect how the chart calculates the rankings. This means that as of July 6, the views from official videos on platforms like YouTube, Apple, Tidal, and Spotify will all be added up to the existing UK chart. This is what the chart’s chief executive, Martin Talbot, said about the new rules;

“The way that music fans are consuming music is changing by the month. It seems anachronistic to be saying, ‘we’re only going to count the song’, when it also has a video attached to it.”

The official chart already calculates sales and streams from 15,000 shops and digital outlets. These changes mean that the chart will now reflect the true fan engagement with musicians on video platforms. Fans will be able to listen to the first Official Chart to include video streams on BBC Radio 1, on Friday, July 6.

What this means for musicians

Up until now, video engagements weren’t calculated in the ranking algorithm of the official UK chart. All of this is about to change for the better. Here is what you need to know about this move and how it will affect artists:

  • Paid music streams carry more weight: Under the current system, every 150 streams of a song count as a “sale.” With the new changes, the ratio will drop to 100:1 for premium subscribers, while the ratio for free users will rise to 600:1. It will apply to both video and audio streams equally.
  • Long wait: Taking video streams into account was discussed 4 years ago. At the time, YouTube was the only platform providing a full video service, and concerns regarding royalty payments and data clarity stopped the change from happening.

In some countries, like France and Italy, music played on free platforms like YouTube and Spotify doesn’t count towards the charts. However, Talbot ruled this approach out;

“We recognise there are younger fans who maybe don’t have access to credit cards, or low-income music fans who can’t afford a subscription but will still listen on legitimate, ad-funded streaming services.”

It is also worthy to point out that you can’t spam your favorite artists to the top of the charts. Once you have played a song 10 times in 24 hours, the additional streams don’t count. Artists with solid YouTube marketing tactics are obviously going to benefit though.

Music artists are loving the new UK singles charts rules

Several music artists have already expressed their enthusiasm regarding this move. Knowing that this opens up new ways for recognition, music artists like Dua Lipa and Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander have already welcomed this move.

“It’s definitely about time. So many people now just watch the video – they’re not even aware of the song separate from it. The fact they’ll be considered for the charts now is a good thing.”

Is how Olly Alexander felt.

Finally, good music videos will be equally appreciated as good songs. Now that there’s tangibility in the results, music artists are expected to invest more in creating appealing videos, and even buying views to help them get as high as possible on the charts.

Date: July 5, 2018 / Categories: News, / Author: Rich Drees


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