The albums chart will begin to count video streams for the first time from the first week of 2023.
The change follows several months of discussion by the Chart Supervisory Committee, which comprises representatives of record labels, retailers and digital services from across the industry. It means that streams of videos from Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, YouTube, Amazon Music and other key streaming services will count towards the chart from the start of next year.
The streams will feed into the SEA-2 methodology, ensuring that viral videos do not skew the albums chart by inflating the chart sales of albums with one or two tracks with particularly high streaming volumes.
Video streams will be treated the same as audio streams. Under SEA-2, streams of an album’s 16 most streamed tracks are aggregated, the top two tracks neutralised to the average of the next 14 and the total streams divided by 1,000 to create an album stream. The methodology, which was introduced in February 2015, is designed to ensure that the Official Albums Chart continues to reflect the popularity of albums as a body of work.
The move comes almost five years after video streams first counted towards the singles chart in July 2018. At the time, it was felt that admitting video streams to the albums chart might distort the true picture of album consumption, with video streams rarely integrated into an album playlist.
But the Chart Supervisory Committee believes that videos are now integrated more comprehensively within the album listening/viewing experience, across a wider range of platforms. Video streams now account for 6.7% of the total streaming market.
As the music market evolves, so too does the way we measure success
Charlotte de Burgh-Holder
Charlotte De Burgh-Holder, Sony Music director of commercial analytics and Official Charts chair, said: “As the music market evolves, so too does the way we measure success. Official Charts have always set the gold standard for chart compilation, and their addition of video to the albums chart reflects their dedication to always having the clearest picture of how the UK consumes their favourite music.”
Utopia’s VP distribution services Henry Semmence said: “The Official Charts always strive to reflect the different ways we consume music in the UK. By including video streaming into the methodology of compiling the chart, we now have a better and more accurate picture of what is being consumed on a weekly basis.”