The weekly Billboard 200 charts will soon include data from music streaming services such as Spotify and Beats. The change covers sales and listening from Nov. 30, according to The New York Times.
In what is being billed as the biggest change to the iconic survey since 1991, the Billboard 200 will now include streams and downloads of tracks from streaming services.
The new formula will count 1,500 song streams from services like Spotify, Beats Music, Rdio, Rhapsody, and Google Play as the same as an album sale. The new Billboard 200 will also count “track equivalent albums” as part of the formula for album rankings for the first time. This is called a “common industry yardstick” of 10 downloads of individual tracks.
As Silvio Pietroluongo, Billboard’s director of charts notes:
We were always limited to the initial impulse, when somebody purchased an album. Now we have the ability to look at that engagement and gauge the popularity of an album over time.
The first Billboard charts to reflect the new data will be posted online on Dec. 4, and published in print in the magazine’s Dec. 13 issue. Billboard has been publishing music charts since 1956.