Today the Offical charts company made the announcement that from the 6th of July music video streams will now contribute to a tracks chart success.
I’m very outspoken on my views of the official chart as well as streaming as a whole, if you haven’t already read my posts Does getting a hit single mean anything anymore?and Is streaming killing the music industry? I’d recommend you do, I feel they provide a bit of clarity into the way that success is now determined in the current musical climate.
So how are they planning to implement this, well much like the streaming is counted 1 view will not equal 1 sale, because let’s be honest that would be absurd but instead 100 streams on a paid service such as Youtube red and apple music or 600 on a free service.
While many may argue that this is a beneficial move as it is representative of what the UK are listening to/ watching I argue with the fact that you don’t like everything you watch or even listen to, if you click on a playlist and let it play you are somewhat unintentionally pushing the stream count higher, or maybe you want to watch a video for the visuals. The chart claims to represent what’s popular in the UK but instead, they are representing what is being fed to us via curated playlists, video autoplay and I feel that somewhat takes authenticity and trust away from this organisation.
I mention in my streaming post that this allows the chart to be easily manipulated and this addition of videos is only going to make that easier. Artists will be out to make the biggest, most provocative and controversial videos in the hope of pulling in the views and in turn pushing them further and further up the chart.
I truly stand behind my view that the chart should be purely based on purchases, and if it did I believe that we would have a more diverse representation, rock would begin to resurge and generally, the music would be of higher quality. Where is the Oasis, Rolling Stones, The Beatles of our time? oh, wait nowhere because the tracks that feature organic instrumentation and moderately significant and meaningful lyricism get purchased rather than streamed because generally this type of music is supported by individuals that value artists, show gratitude and enjoy the physical formats, pretty much the way everyone who enjoys music should behave.
This approach to reporting how music is consumed represents what we are being exposed to, however, not what we are loving and enjoying. It’s encouraging a substanceless future of computer made tracks that offer nothing more than catchiness and that is a truly worrying prospect.