Marketing

Should the charts measure ‘engaged’ streams not playlists?


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There has been plenty of chatter this month in the UK about a tweak to the official singles chart’s methodology, aimed at preventing another Sheeran-style takeover of the upper reaches.

One of the latest responses came this weekend from Kobalt’s VP of marketing strategy David Emery, who pinpointed the reason for chart changes.

“The charts have ended up not really representing anything in their efforts to represent everything,” he wrote. “They don’t represent music fans engaging with music, because they include a whole bunch of streams from playlists where people didn’t really engage that much.”

Emery has an idea for how charts regulators could do more than simply tweak their ‘how many streams makes a sale’ formulas.

“It would seem like it would make a lot more sense instead to just look at the engaged plays coming from streaming services. Take out the playlist and radio streams, and focus on the ones where the fan actually chose to listen to that track themselves,” he wrote.

“If you got on a big playlist and that lead to lots of fans adding it their library and listening to it – great! That seems like a much more comparable behaviour to the traditional ‘sale’ and also something of a lot more value to measure and compare…”

Stuart Dredge

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