On demand audio data to be included in official rankings.

Recorded Music NZ has announced that New Zealand's Official Top 40 Singles Chart and NZ Artists Singles Chart will include on demand audio streaming data as well as sales.

That means that along with physical and digital sales, the chart rankings will now also take into account the number of streams a track has received on platforms such as Spotify, Google Play, and Xbox Music.

Streaming has increasingly become an important method of music consumption internationally and is seeing rapid adoption by NZ music consumers - Kiwis stream an average of three million tracks a day. Music streaming revenues have tripled since 2012 and now make up nearly 20 per cent of digital revenue.

The move follows the lead of the UK and some European charts, though the Billboard charts in America have yet to include streaming services.


To reflect the difference in weight between streaming and purchasing, Recorded Music NZ has developed an audio conversion rate, reflective of local market conditions and based on the algorithm used in multiple territories around the world. The first chart to incorporate streaming statistics goes live on Friday, November 7, and only streaming platforms where the consumer actively chooses to listen to a specific track will be counted towards the chart, reflecting active demand - so internet radio platforms like I Heart Radio and Pandora will not be included.

Yesterday's announcement comes on the back of news earlier this week that Taylor Swift has opted not to make her new album 1989 available on Spotify, and has also removed her back catalogue from the streaming service. Neither Swift nor her record company Big Machine Label Group have commented on the decision, though Swift herself made her views on the value of music very clear earlier this year in a piece she wrote for Wall Street Journal.

"Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. It's my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album's price point is. I hope they don't underestimate themselves or undervalue their art."

The move has not hampered first week album sales of 1989 which look set to reach 1.3 million in America alone, potentially breaking sales records in the US set by The Eminem Show in 2002.