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Post  misery guts on Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:56 am

Well, looks like changes on the way in the UK, too:

Official singles chart to include streaming services
Streaming through services like Spotify and Deezer will count towards the UK's weekly singles chart from July, the Official Charts Company has announced.

Charts boss Martin Talbot said the move is "about future-proofing the charts".

"So far this year we've seen nine tracks which have been streamed more than one million times in a week. Last year there were only two tracks that had reached that kind of level," said Mr Talbot.

"So we're seeing a huge growth, up 50% in the first half of this year."

He told the BBC the Official Charts Company had been looking into the idea for "some time" but felt now was the right moment, suggesting it echoed how they had already "evolved" over the years in response to the popularity of vinyl, cassettes, CDs and downloads.
I look forward to getting even crosser from July 6 onwards  Evil or Very Mad 
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Post  Adric on Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:27 pm

Oh my! Funny how ever since google bought out youtube this started. Wouldn't be surprised if these events aren't connencted now that they're charging for many youtube vids. My only hope is that we gain some new artists worthy of Top 40. Then I expect google in a few yrs. time will be the equivalant to Cyber-Industry (Doctor Who).

  My new motto .... Today's music industry is like candy .... you throw away the rappers!   Laughing
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Post  misery guts on Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:01 am

I read that YT are now charging for some service or other (you can tell I've studied it  Razz ) so many bands are boycotting it or something.

What they really need in the UK charts to make them more legitimate is an age limit; so after 12 months on release (I'd prefer 6 but I don't expect miracles) a song would drop out of the "official" chart and become eligible for a "seniors" chart. I'm pig sick of oldie records randomly appearing because they're being used in some new advert or by some half-assed reality X Factor show  Mad And this would stop the annual pre-Christmas nonsense with Mariah and the Pogues re-entering the charts, amongst other things.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:51 am

Well, it's started now, but I guess the proof of the pudding will come from next week onwards.
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Post  misery guts on Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:03 pm

I keep making the same moans about the efficacy of the download counting methods in the UK, and the nonsense that a 20 year old song now has the same strength as a 20 day old one Mad
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Post  Adric on Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:52 am

misery guts wrote:I keep making the same moans about the efficacy of the download counting methods in the UK, and the nonsense that a 20 year old song now has the same strength as a 20 day old one Mad

Well, in all fairness, 20 years ago the charts were full of awesome tunes and we still had awesome artists. Today, we have bubble gum pudding brains swinging on wrecking balls doing kiddy porn as legally as possible. I'll play Toni Basil a million times if it'd help knock any Eminem lunacy out lol. Interesting article I came across that I felt worth a read. You know, it's a shame that everything has to be based on money. True talent is still around. Sadly, in today's world the average under 18 genre wouldn't know true talent unless is had a hashtag in front. Mad I remember when I was 13 and a friend brought a VHS tape over with some porn on it. He felt so proud to have it haha. He popped it in and this cheesy music started ... a cross between techno and Richard Simmons work-out music. My reply was, "Music of the future!" silent

Tom DeLonge compares streaming music to killing elephants

The Blink 182 frontman makes a dramatic, dubious statement regarding the value of his work


Blink 182 frontman Tom DeLonge has likened streaming music to killing endangered animals.



The pop-punk band headlined Reading and Leeds this summer.

“I tell people condoning streaming is like condoning the Chinese that are killing elephants for their tusks and carving ivory statues,” he told Faster Louder.

“It’s cool to put on your shelf but if you really think about what you’re doing it sucks. Streaming music is doing the same thing to artists – might not be killing them but it’s killing the industry.”

The musician releases his new album with Angels & Airwaves, The Dream Walker, on December 8.

He asserted that the consequences of streaming should be better considered.

“It might be cool for you as somebody that likes music but you’re not really thinking about the effect it has,” he said. We’ve got to value our art, you know?”


Taylor Swift also recently spoke against music streaming, withdrawing her work from Spotify amid widespread criticism from fans.

Although she argued she does “want to be part of progress”, the singer does not believe music should be free.

“I felt like I was saying to my fans, 'If you create music someday, if you create a painting someday, someone can just walk into a museum, take it off the wall, rip off a corner off it and it's theirs now and they don't have to pay for it,” she said.

“I didn't like the perception that it was putting forth and so I decided to change the way I was doing things.”
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Post  misery guts on Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:33 am

Taylor was today announced as the first guest at Radio 1's big free event to be held in May in Norwich.
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Post  misery guts on Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:12 am

Looks like more changes are on the way:
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) announced today (February 26) that all albums and singles will be released at 12.01am on Fridays around the world from later this year.
The majority of new releases come out on Mondays in the UK, with the chart finalised at midnight on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

The changes would mean that a Thursday chart announcement would fairly reflect the week's best-sellers.
Albums released globally on Fridays

Rolling EyesEvil or Very MadNeutral
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Post  misery guts on Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:40 pm

The word is out now:

Official Chart Show moving from Sundays to Friday afternoons after 50 years

The shift comes with the move by the global music industry to introduce a new synchronised release date of Fridays. Sales and streams across seven days from 00.01 on Friday thorough to midnight on Thursday evening will be included in the UK chart.
Speaking as a confirmed stick-in-the-mud, I'm disappointed at one more nail in the coffin of the business I love Surprised
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Post  Adric on Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:58 pm

Seems to me that the nails in the coffin are already sealed. The only hope is to open that coffin back up and let the real talent in. It's not even so much about this latest "change" as much as it is the lack of artists we have today. Don McLean must have dipped into this era to have written "American Pie" lol. Having charted every Top 40 since 1955, I'd say the music industry went corrupt in the early to mid 90's and never came back from that. I can only hope that this sees a swathe of new artists that solely get discovered on youtube. There are some brilliant acts out there just waiting for KanYe West to become yesterday's flava.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:32 pm

Ed Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud sets chart record
Ed Sheeran has set a new chart record as his single Thinking Out Loud has become the first ever to spend a full year inside the UK Top 40.

Other songs that have come close to Sheeran's record in recent years include John Legend's All Of Me that managed spent 44 consecutive weeks and Pharrell Williams' Happy that lasted 49 consecutive weeks in the Top 40.
Not good, really Rolling Eyes

Of course, with the changes to Friday charts, just 3 weeks away now, nonsense records like this may become the norm, rather than the exception.

It's amazing that a story like this is being lauded as a triumph, rather than a signpost that something needs to be done about the system. But as long as it serves the record companies and radio stations, change is not a-gonna come Neutral
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Post  misery guts on Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:31 am

It's here now. Yesterday was the last ever (for now) Sunday chart, and the new one will be published on Friday afternoon Shocked Seems as though there are less releases today, whereas normal service will resume from Friday.
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Post  Adric on Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:08 am

misery guts wrote:It's here now. Yesterday was the last ever (for now) Sunday chart, and the new one will be published on Friday afternoon Shocked Seems as though there are less releases today, whereas normal service will resume from Friday.

The music industry is such a dying breed and I actually find it difficult to chart the way Billboard is going. Had today's charts been out when I was a kid, this passion I have would have never existed. I've noticed how much fewer the songs are released now ... a lot due to staying power. I loathe this format of charting. How do you get new releases as much when a song's staying power can last well over a year?!? 20 years ago, the charts felt much more accurate. If a song spent 20 weeks in the Top 40, that was "Wizard" as Donna Noble would say Smile
It's no wonder artists from the 80's downwards that are still with us are also disgusted by today's charting method. Example, The Beatles (US chart) spent 7 weeks at #1, yet only 14 in the Top 40 itself. Music was fast paced, debuts plentiful, always room for new acts. I don't know where they get these freaks of today. Now days, a song spends 14 weeks at #1, a year.5 in the countdown and a year later, no one remembers it! Music stopped being fun and sadly is no longer a part of many a youth today. Still, the dying music industry is trying everything possible to squeeze every last coin they can from today's so called talent.
Another thing that is contributing to the demise of music is all of these freaking "talent" tv shows. Sure, we gained some major players, yet most debut very high, drop out in a week and it's finished. We always had movie hits and novelties to debut, but not in this form! Good movie music ... flashdance, footloose, grease. BAD examples, Glee Cast, Hantana Montana, High School Musical . ... rubbish and surely shouldn't even be in the charts. It's not the shortage of music that is the problem. It's the powers who do the charting. When I look at the UK charts and see so many names (Ultravox, Take That, Boyzone) ... names that NEVER made it here, barring Take That as a 1-hit wonder! Why do we get country / rap and reality tv hits when we should be having another UK invasion! Just my thoughts. Peace~
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Post  misery guts on Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:08 am

The difficulty in judging today's new chart is that because of less days, it will be skewed. Next week should show some changes, though.

The tradition has been that the mid-weeks (pushed on the news on Wednesdays) give an idea of what will be #1, but the weekend sales might change things. Now, the weekends will come first, so there should be less alterations.

So though last week's sluggish top 10 appears to have been somewhat flushed cleaner, next week might show a steadying of the ship.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:10 am

Well well well!

Charts to be adjusted after all
The Official Chart Company is changing the way it calculates the Top 40 to reflect the rise in streaming.
Currently, 100 streams count as one "sale" of a song. From January, the ratio will become 150:1.
It is hoped that the change could break the bottleneck at the top of the charts, as hits on streaming services linger for weeks on end.
Only 11 songs have reached number one this year, compared to 26 in 2015 and 42 in 2014.
The slowdown was prompted by the inclusion of streaming data into the charts in July 2014.
Up to that point, the Top 40 measured how many times a record had been bought. Now it measures consumption - and the trend on streaming sites is for people to listen to their favourite songs over and over, rather than seeking out new music.
It's better than nothing Cool
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Post  Adric on Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:20 am

misery guts wrote:Well well well!

Charts to be adjusted after all
The Official Chart Company is changing the way it calculates the Top 40 to reflect the rise in streaming.
Currently, 100 streams count as one "sale" of a song. From January, the ratio will become 150:1.
It is hoped that the change could break the bottleneck at the top of the charts, as hits on streaming services linger for weeks on end.
Only 11 songs have reached number one this year, compared to 26 in 2015 and 42 in 2014.
The slowdown was prompted by the inclusion of streaming data into the charts in July 2014.
Up to that point, the Top 40 measured how many times a record had been bought. Now it measures consumption - and the trend on streaming sites is for people to listen to their favourite songs over and over, rather than seeking out new music.
It's better than nothing Cool

Wonderful news! Very Happy
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Post  misery guts on Fri Dec 23, 2016 9:18 am

Time will tell. It's good that something has made them realise there's a problem. I suspect if today's announcement of the Christmas #1 single is in the same vein of recent charts, then it might get some attention too (Clean Bandit were supposedly leading the race earlier in the week, with Rag n Bone Man next along, which would make a total mockery of all the news coverage about who would get the spot).
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Post  misery guts on Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:07 am

Well, obviously the fix didn't fix anything:

Ed Sheeran's dominance of the Top 20 is a only a symptom of how sick the charts are
I asked OCC chief executive Martin Talbot if Sheeran’s chart domination would induce another shift. “We will review chart methodologies (as we continually do) to see if there is something we could or should change,” he says. “But we shouldn’t (and won’t) rush to any kneejerk actions. The highest number of streams for any album before was Stormzy last week, which achieved 21,000 album streams, then a record for a No 1 album. As a result, Stormzy’s album ended up with one track in the Top 20 and seven tracks in the Top 40. In contrast, ÷ has generated 79,000 album streams. It is an absolute outlier. And you shouldn’t change rules for extreme cases.”
How hard is it to grasp? It's a Singles Chart, not a Tracks Chart! If an artist having 14 of the Top 15 isn't a sign of a broken system, then what is?!

It won't be quite as bad as this in the new US chart, but I would expect something to happen.
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Post  Adric on Fri May 05, 2017 2:54 pm

Harry Styles fans are trying to beat the Billboard charts with VPNs and mass coordination <--- Full Article

Die-hard music fans always rally together on social media when their favorite artists release new music. They encourage each other to keep streaming, to replay the music video over and over, and to request the song from local radio stations — all pretty low-effort ways to feel like you’re helping your favorite artist net streams, climb up the charts, and get more radio play.

But a particularly dedicated and savvy group of Harry Styles fans, led by a Tumblr called Harry Styles Promo Team, is taking it even further. To nab chart victories for his first solo single “Sign of the Times,” released last month, and his eponymous debut album, due out next Friday, they’ve come up with a plan: They’re encouraging fans who don’t live in the US to download VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, a common security measure that can anonymize an internet user.

With a VPN, a non-US fan can fake the country of their IP address, then stream Harry’s music as many times as possible. The idea here is that Billboard charts now take streaming into account — a change made for its album chart in 2014 and for the “hot 100” singles list in 2012 — but it only counts streams marked as coming from a US IP address. (With less emphasis, fans are doing the same thing for the UK music charts.)

In part, this particular effort is a reaction to a Spotify technical glitch the morning that “Sign of the Times” was released. That weekend, Billboard reported that the song was difficult to find on the service for several hours and fans shared screenshots showing that it was listed as unavailable. Rose, a fan who co-operates a popular Harry Styles news account on Twitter, told The Verge via DM, “When Spotify messed up, we tried to fix their error... By the time everything was fixed, Harry had lost millions of streams. We had to start over. I streamed it all night on the lowest volume possible... We wanted number 1.”

Rose says fans organize global listening parties where VPN links are shared, and they stream the song together for hours at a time. Fans in other countries commonly use VPNs to get around geographic restrictions on One Direction and Styles-related content — like many music videos, interviews, and late-night performances that are limited to the US or UK when they’re first published online. So there’s really no learning curve when it comes time to support a new song.

For fans who want to see Styles hit the top of the charts, it’s more of an uphill battle than you might think. Four of the five albums released by Styles’ band One Direction hit the top of the Billboard 200, but none of their 17 singles ever made it to the top of the list in the US. Former band member Zayn Malik was the first of the group to hit the top of the charts, with his debut single “Pillowtalk” last year, but Styles’ first solo work ended up falling short, losing out to Bruno Mars’ “That’s What I Like” and peaking at number four.

“[Harry Styles] doesn't care about the sales,” Rose adds. “But we want to let him know how much we like and support his new music, especially with him being so open and honest lately, and streaming, sharing, and buying is the way.” She said she didn’t know if the fans’ efforts could reasonably change Styles’ chart position on Billboard or Spotify, but they like to update each other when it moves, regardless. When reached for comment, a representative from Spotify said the company had never heard of any similar efforts and declined to speak further. Apple Music did not return a request for comment.

Billboard charts have been gamed before by all kinds of non-fan entities — major labels used to get accused of manipulating physical album sale numbers all the time, even after the implementation of Nielsen’s SoundScan, the bar code system that was supposed to make the numbers infallible. So why not try to do it this way?

Though the effort, creativity, and uh, rule-bending here is impressive, these streams are likely just a drop in the ocean. Songs that wind up at the top of the Billboard charts get tens of millions of streams the week they debut. The max that any one of these fans could stream Harry Style’s five-minute, 20-second track is 270 times per day. It would take thousands of fans really following through (only 300 have liked the most popular Tumblr post about it so far) for this to take off, and the free data cap for most VPN services is way too low for individual sustained effort.

A PR rep for Nielsen, which calculates the numbers used for Billboard charts, told The Verge in an email “Nielsen and its partner data providers have mechanisms in place to protect against this kind of activity,” but would not provide particulars. Billboard declined a request for comment.

Of course, this isn’t the only trick fans have up their sleeves. Promo Team is also joining in on an older One Direction fan tradition: organizing to buy thousands of iTunes downloads of Styles’ music as gifts.

The original reasoning behind these “sponsorships” is actually pretty great — a group of Tumblr users decided it would make sense to connect fans who had some extra cash with fans who couldn’t afford to buy the music on iTunes themselves. As an added benefit, it would be an infinitesimal boost to digital downloads. The main gifting blog, 1DSponsorships, was started in 2015 as part of a broader (enormous) fan effort to get the One Direction song “No Control” released as an official single. They claim to have doled out 3,000 copies of “No Control,” and most recently, they write, they gave out over 1,000 copies of Styles’ “Sign of the Times.”

Tessa, a Dutch fan who collects money and sends it to another fan in the UK to disperse, explains, “Sponsorships are one way to increase sales: you can only buy the song once, but you can gift it through iTunes as often as you want.” iTunes only allows gifts to be sent to users who live in the same country as the sender, so before a well-known fandom figure named Becca set up an automated service, gift organizers spent weeks making spreadsheets and manually setting up matches. She’s a programmer and developer, and wrote some simple code that pulls from the spreadsheets, matches requests by country, and can send out up to 75 emails per minute. Plus, fans can now watch the process happen live.

Some of the paired-up gifters and recipients become Tumblr pals, and the result is a fascinating network of One Direction and Styles enthusiasts. But 1DSponsorships’ numbers are pretty paltry with chart movement as a goal.

The six-week-old Promo Team already has nearly 16,000 followers on Twitter, and could conceivably rack up slightly higher numbers. Promo Team also does one better, suggesting that people buy the song on iTunes, buy the song for other people on iTunes, and then delete or hide the song from their library and listen to it only via streaming on Apple Music.

Their site lists all kinds of tips and tricks about the most effective ways to get Styles’ song better radio play or a higher stream count, many of them popular “new music day” go-to’s for serious music fans of all stripes. For example, the Team encourages fans to submit radio play requests to the hundreds of iHeart radio stations that take requests online through Mediabase. They also point out that Most Requested Live, a show syndicated on 150 US radio stations, takes request via Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

Other fans tell each other to make sure to play YouTube videos to the 30-second mark at least and to remember that muting the tab discounts the play. Or that trending music on the popular “what’s that song?” app Shazam helps radio stations pick out new songs for playlists, so fans should feed “Sign of the Times” through it at least three times per day. Or that if they’re going to print out homemade flyers to put up around their neighborhoods, they better put QR codes on them.

Chris, a fan who has participated in recent iTunes gifting, says that the fandom has “stepped up” with measures like these over the years because they often disagree with promotional choices made by Syco, Simon Cowell’s Sony-owned record label (with One Direction now dispersed, only Louis Tomlinson still has an affiliation). But right now, he says, “the primary goal is just to support the individual members of the band as they release solo material. [And to] let them know that we're still here as a fandom and looking forward to hearing their new material.”

Most of these activities are eccentric and admirable, but the VPN work-around tiptoes toward forgetting what the number one spot is ideally supposed to mean about a song. Fans don’t look at it that way. Iman, a fan who helps organize streaming parties on Twitter, told The Verge, “No, we don’t see it as cheating. We are simply supporting Harry. I can guarantee you, there is not a fan who has a problem with streaming parties.”

Which brings us to perhaps the weirdest thing about the whole Styles operation: it’s impossible for these fans to know if their collective effort is making a dent, and when they stop to think about it they’re mostly aware that it isn’t. They know better than anyone how many streams and downloads a #1 hit really demands, and it’s not like they can’t do basic math. So why do all this?

The rewards seem tiny, and the effort is huge. But, it’s worth remembering — as Styles and his former bandmates often do — that young people on social media created their careers in the first place. In some ways, they’re open-source pop stars, and that comes with a feeling of responsibility to keep iterating on them.

Chris says it’s hard to know the difference between organic numbers and “fan activity.” He doesn’t know if fans could ever move chart position. But he also points out that Louis Tomlinson, the former member of One Direction who’s seen arguably the least public hype, retweeted a link promoting iTunes gifts of his debut single last December. The recognition of the support, to him, is the most gratifying result (plus, Becca says, the retweet flooded the sponsorship system and 12,000 people offered to gift copies of the song). And ultimately he thinks Styles is big enough on his own, “We're just being supportive of [him] and of each other.”

Tessa explained that participating in the “punk” spirit of the group is its own reward: “I got involved because I love the DIY attitude. It's taking things in your own hands as a fandom.”

By now, many of these measures are ritual and reflex for fans — superstition even — and as much a part of participating in the fandom as making GIFs or tweeting reaction videos. It’d be pointless to try to convince them to stop, whether by illustrating the futility or explaining Spotify’s Terms of Service. And the “Sign of the Times” disappointment behind them, they’re gearing up for Harry Styles album release day next Friday.

Rose says she doesn’t know for sure that Styles is aware of all the work that will go on behind the scenes that day: “Maybe... He's very coy and dodges straight answers in interviews. But I know he's grateful.”
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Post  misery guts on Mon May 22, 2017 7:27 am

Styles' album was a UK #1 Idea
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Post  misery guts on Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:18 am

A mere 3 months later, and it's ACTION!

Official Charts Company shakes up rules to stop the Ed Sheeran effect

LOL at "the Ed Sheeran effect" as if it was his fault somehow!
Starting from July, artists will be allowed only three of their most popular tracks in the top 100, to prevent music’s heavyweight acts dominating the majority of the charts.
According to the Official Charts Company, the changes are designed to “ensure the chart continues to be a showcase for the new hits and talent which are the lifeblood of UK music”. The aim is to support new talent progressing up the chart, without potential hits being inhibited by older tracks or album tracks by big-name artists. The rule adjustments are expected to boost the number of new chart tracks by about 10%.
Quite how this will count with "x featuring y, z + etc" remains to be seen.
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Post  misery guts on Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:04 am

The first chart under the new system landed yesterday, and predictably Ed Sheeran was headlined as the main victim of it. It's notable that the lower reaches of the top 40 seem a bit fresher than they have for a while, but whether that makes a blind bit of difference is something that will take time to become clear.
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Post  Adric on Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:49 am

All a step in the right direction, I suppose. Yes, the (featured) acts should be interesting. In the states, I don't see anything happening until the likes of Drake or Rihanna dominate half of the Top 40.
What's even worse than this aspect of charting methodology is the sheer time songs spend in the countdown now days. It literally memes the album charts. Back in the day one would have expected Pink Floyd or Michael Jackson to spend a year+ on an "album" chart, but not singles, ever. Currently, The Chainsuckers have the record here for spending a massive 63 weeks consecutively in the Top 10 ... ugh ugh ugh.
I often see people in Billboard's comment sections glorifying the likes of some goon like Justin Bieber. So sad for this generation. We went from Elvis to Beatles to Michael Jackson to Whitney Houston to Mariah and now we have freaking Justin Bieber lol. Sad all around. I'd like to see some more one-hit wonders do their thing. Some of the best music in existence comes from one-hit wonders.
It also drives me crazy that we have (on average) 39 rap songs and that one-off country song. It's all so fake. Is this what they call variety? Sorry, but I've not listened to 'Body Like A Back Road' just for the sheer bad title alone lol.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:38 am

Given the last big change was only supposed to be 6 months ago, it seems to be like the proverbial three-point-turn in a super-tanker.

I've long said your chart was too sluggish to be true, so it alarms me that the people who run mine seem to look at yours and go "neat work, let's do that here" Mad Shocked

It's true that these issues seem more problematic when one has no faith in the act scoring it. There was a recent report where Ed Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud spent 55 consecutive weeks in the top 40, but that did become a #1 record and Ed's an alright guy. But I can't dispute your Chainsmokers ire, as with Calvin Harris or DJ Khaled, it begins to seem like a racket.
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Post  misery guts on Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:39 am

Only the three most popular tracks by a lead artist will now be eligible for the chart, although songs on which a star is a featured artist will not count towards that total.

Meanwhile, after a record has racked up at least 10 weeks on the chart, any track which has declined for three consecutive weeks will see its streams:sales ratio change from 150:1 to 300:1, in an attempt to accelerate their disappearance from the chart.
It's the 2nd paragraph that came as news to me, and explains why records in the UK can now plummet suddenly after a long sluggish spell (though it doesn't really explain why 3 times in the last 5 weeks a record has gone from 40 to 22).
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