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New Music Fridays to launch next month

 
By on Monday, 22nd June 2015 at 11:00 am
 

New Music Fridays is the name for the new global release date of all albums and singles. The move, which comes into effect from Friday, the 10th of July 2015, is being implemented by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which represents the worldwide recording industry. The introduction of New Music Fridays is taking place in 45 recorded music markets worldwide. Only 11 of these markets currently release music on a Friday.

So, why is the change being introduced? Currently, albums and singles are released in the UK and France on Mondays and in America and Canada on Tuesdays, while consumers in Australia and Germany have to wait until Friday to get their hands on the latest releases. Not only does this cause frustration for music fans when other parts of the world can access new releases before them, but this old system no longer makes sense in today’s digital world. IFPI believe that the move will benefit artists who want to harness social media to promote their new music, creating an opportunity to reignite the excitement and sense of occasion.

In the UK, the introduction of New Music Fridays is causing some major changes to the way in which the Official UK Top 40 is announced. The Official Chart Show, which is currently broadcast on BBC Radio 1 on a Sunday, will move to a new slot on a Friday evening, where it will be hosted by new show presenter Greg James.

The move has gained approval from some big names in the music industry, including Edgar Berger, chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment. He described the move as “good news for music fans everywhere”, saying, “Today’s recorded music industry operates in an increasingly borderless world.  Hits can come from anywhere and spread everywhere. Some superstars have already launched their albums simultaneously worldwide, now all artists will be able to reach their global fan bases on the same day.”

New Music Fridays has also received backing from retailers, including HMV. Paul McGowan, chief executive at Hilco (owners of HMV), said of the change, “It’s a big opportunity for us to get music fans into our stores, and it’s something I hope gets full support from across our industry. New Music Fridays will get music to the high street when people hit the high street.  As the UK’s leading entertainment retailer, that makes perfect sense for us and our customers.”

Streaming services such as Deezer and Spotify are also supporting the move. Hans-Holger Albrecht, the CEO of Deezer, said, “Deezer welcomes New Music Fridays and the sense of occasion it will bring to the release of new music. Deezer’s editors are primed to make Friday the new start to their week to help people wherever they are make that exciting new discovery, just in time for the weekend.”

New Music Fridays begins on Friday, the 10th of July. All new albums and singles will be released at 00:01 local time. Further information on the new initiative can be found on the New Music Fridays Web site.

 

Official Albums Chart to incorporate audio streams next month

 
By on Friday, 13th February 2015 at 11:00 am
 

Following on from an announcement last summer regarding Official UK Singles Chart, as of March 2015 the Official Albums Chart in the UK will incorporate audio streams, the Official Charts Company has announced. The change will come into effect during BRIT Awards week (beginning Monday, the 23rd of February), with the first chart to incorporate audio streams being published on Sunday, the 1st of March 2015.

So, how will it work? The Official Charts Company will collect streaming data from Spotify, Deezer, Napster, Google Play, O2 Tracks, Rara, Rdio and Xbox Music, though only the 12 most streamed tracks from the standard version of the album will be taken into account. The top two songs from the album will be down-weighted in line with the average of the rest. The reason for this is to ensure that any albums featuring up to two runaway hit singles do not skew the performance of the parent album in the Official Albums Chart. The total of these streams will be divided by 1,000 and added to the physical and digital sales of the album. The 1,000 ratio is used to reflect the broad difference in value between a track stream and the price paid for an album.

Speaking about the announcement, Official Charts Company Chairman Korda Marshall said: “The Official Charts are a UK institution, followed both by music fans and the industry, so we do not make changes to them lightly. But with more and more people listening to albums via streaming services, it is right that we are now going to reflect streaming in the Official Albums Chart. It is particularly appropriate that this change will take place from BRITs week, when we will be celebrating some of today’s biggest album artists, like Ed Sheeran, George Ezra, alt-J and Royal Blood (pictured at top), among many others.”

Official Charts Company chief executive Martin Talbot added: “The Official Charts Company’s mission is to compile the most accurate, reliable and up-to-date charts around, and in 2015 that means reflecting the popularity of streaming, alongside downloads, vinyl and – still the most popular album format – the CD. Initial indications are that the impact on actual chart positions will be modest to begin with, but we expect this to grow as streaming becomes increasingly popular.”

According to the Official Charts Company, Ed Sheeran’s ‘X’ was the most streamed album of 2014, having generated more than 200 million track streams, Sam Smith’s ‘In The Lonely Hour’ was streamed over 140 million times and George Ezra’s ‘Wanted on Voyage’ notched up 70 million streams.

 

Official UK singles chart to include streamed data

 
By on Tuesday, 24th June 2014 at 11:00 am
 

Audio streams from the likes of Spotify, Deezer and Napster will count towards the Official Chart rankings from July 2014, it has been revealed.

Posting on their official Web site, the Official Charts Company confirmed that the move, which is supported by the UK music industry, “follows an explosion in streaming services with the total number of weekly audio streams selected by music fans growing from 100 million a week in January, 2013 to 200 million a week in January, 2014”. The figure is currently at 260 million.

The full list of audio streaming services that will count towards the Official Chart are:
– Spotify
– Deezer
– Napster
– O2 Tracks
– Xbox Music
– Sony’s Music Unlimited
– rara (powered by Omnifone)

The Official Charts Company added that “both paid and ad-funded” streaming services would count and “to reflect the difference in weight between streaming and purchasing, 100 streams will count as equivalent to 1 single (download or physical single) in the chart compilation process”. Furthermore, a track must be listened to for at least 30 seconds for it to register and plays will be capped at 10 plays per day. The move comes 10 years after sales of digital downloads were first added to the Official Chart.

Speaking about the announcement, Bastille‘s Dan Smith said, “Hearing ‘Pompeii’ has had over 26 million streams is amazing and completely weird and we’re really, really happy. I think streaming going into the chart is definitely a good thing. I think for the charts to be fair, it has to reflect how people digest music.”

The move has been greeted by mixed views from chart fanatics. While some believe that adding streams into the chart doesn’t truly reflect what people are listening to, others believe it’s a sign of the times and that it embraces the new way in which people listen to music.

A side-by-side comparison of both the Official UK Charts, in its current form, and the Official Streaming Chart shows that there are noticeable differences between what people are streaming and what they’re buying.

#

Streaming Chart
(as of June 21st)

Official Chart
(as of June 22nd)

1

Mr Probz – ‘Waves (Robin Schulz Remix)’
(8 weeks in chart)

Ella Henderson – ‘Ghost’
(2 weeks in chart)

2

 Sam Smith – ‘Stay With Me’
(4 weeks in chart)

 5 Seconds of Summer – ‘Don’t Stop’
(new entry)

3

 John Legend – ‘All Of Me’
(17 weeks in chart)

Ed Sheeran – ‘Sing’
(3 weeks in chart)

4

Ed Sheeran – ‘Sing’
(2 weeks in chart)

George Ezra – ‘Budapest’
(new entry)

5

Calvin Harris – ‘Summer’
(7 weeks in chart)

Sam Smith – ‘Stay With Me’
(5 weeks in chart)

Based on these stats, it’s clear that people are streaming music that has been around in the charts for longer, but the way in which the current chart system works doesn’t reflect that (as you can listen to a purchased track as many times as you like, but it will only count towards the sales figures once).

As a result of the upcoming merge, we could be seeing tracks dominating the Official UK Top 40 for longer than ever before. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, it could mean that new tracks won’t get the same exposure. Whether this is the case, only time will tell. Stay tuned.

The first Official Singles Chart Top 40 to incorporate streams will be unveiled from 4-7 PM on Sunday, the 6th of July on BBC Radio 1, with the full Top 100 published on OfficialCharts.com at 7 PM that evening.

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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