It’s about time: Billboard to count streams in top 200

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If you asked the average person, I’m sure they’d guess this had always been the case, but the Billboard Top 200 does not take streams into account. Until now.

In what they’re calling “multi-metric consumption measurement”, the 70-year-old chart system is getting with the times, even if they’re more than a little late.

Beginning with the top 10 revealed on Wednesday, Dec. 3, on Billboard.com (the full chart will post online the following day and in the Billboard issue dated Dec. 13), the chart, which currently tracks the top 200 albums of the week by sales alone, will be the first to include on-demand streaming and digital track sales (as measured by Nielsen Entertainment) by way of a new algorithm. It is the most substantial methodology update since May 1991, when Billboard first used Nielsen’s point-of-sale data — SoundScan — to measure album sales.

It’s a great idea, since as industry pro Silvio Pietroluongo says; “Adding streaming information makes the chart a better representation of music consumption activity.” At the same time though, this is putting a lot more power in Google’s hands as far as influence goes. A lot. Funny how this comes on the heels of Google’s “Music Key” service announcement.

There’s more at Billboard.

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