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YouTube plays to be counted in UK singles chart

By | Published on Monday 25 June 2018

Dua Lipa / Official Charts Company

The Official Charts Company has announced that from next month YouTube plays will be included in the data that makes up the UK singles chart. So, good news for fans of complaining that the inclusion of streaming data has ruined the charts. If audio streams have ruined everything already, just imagine what YouTube stats will do!

Various platforms will actually have their video streaming data counted following the chart rules revamp, including Spotify and Apple Music, but YouTube is obviously the most significant addition. The long-awaited inclusion of data from the Google-owned platform comes after the launch of its new paid subscription service in the UK last week.

Under the new rules, basically all official music videos on YouTube will count oblivious of who uploads them, based on labels claiming said uploads via Content ID. However, audio in user generated videos will not count – meaning it’s less likely that viral hits will suddenly race up the charts, as has happened in the US. Views on Vevo-managed YouTube channels will count, but plays on will not.

OCC chief exec Martin Talbot says: “This is a significant step for the UK and ensures The Official Chart continues to be the most comprehensive and trusted chart in the UK, bar none. Consumption of recorded music via more than 15,000 retailers, download stores and streaming services of all kinds contribute to the weekly chart countdown”.

“In the modern era, artists are increasingly multi-faceted creators, with a highly developed visual sense running in parallel with their music”, he continues. “The addition of video ensures that the Official Singles Chart reflects the creativity of the artist in the broadest way possible – and music fans’ engagement with that vision”.

Warner Music UK exec Derek Allen, who also acts as non-executive chair of the Official Charts Company, adds: “It’s always been important that the Official Charts keep pace with an ever evolving and dynamic market, while also retaining their integrity, something which has set the UK charts apart from many of those operating elsewhere around the world. These latest changes are just another step down that road”.

Meanwhile Dua Lipa was given the task of initially announcing this news, in part because the video for her single ‘New Rules’ was the most streamed video by a female artist in the UK last year. “The response to ‘New Rules’ was so crazy and I am so grateful for it”, she mused. “Video was really important to me in my career – it’s another way as artists that we can get our music to our fans”.

The first chart to take video streaming data into account will be unveiled by Scott Mills on BBC Radio 1 at 4pm on 6 Jul.