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Published on March 21st, 2017 | by Alan Cross

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If You’re a Music Chart Nerd, You’ll Want to Read This Report from the Worldwide Independent Network

The Worldwide Independent Network–they look after the interests if the indie music community around the world–has published a report on how music charts work are used around the world. This first-of-its-kind report looks at which charts are available in which country and how chart success is defined. And as we all know, charts are how labels and artists keep score. Let me quote from the press release.

  • The UK appears to have the model that most developed markets base their current streaming conversion formula on.
  • Sweden was the first country in the world to include streaming into their chart calculation. 128.1m of their total 182m (or 70%) recorded music revenue derive from subscription streams.
  • There is little or no appetite in China for official charts, however individual services do publish their own. In the calculations/methodology, social media platforms like WeChat and Weibo play a huge part. They are monitored for shares, likes and comments. This data is used as part of the chart calculations.
  • Most countries operate with a 100/150 track streams = 1 track download basis. This is often multiplied by 10 to find the stream to album download/physical purchase ratio.
  • A significant proportion of markets have more complicated calculations for albums (for example, the top two tracks from an album may be averaged out to represent the average number of streams, so to avoid ‘one hit wonders’ topping the charts).
  • RIM in Malaysia is proposing changing its stream to album download ratio to 4,500 track streams = 1 album download.
  • Ringback tones are still a very relevant business model in especially Asian countries including Malaysia, China and Japan
  • Many countries have yet to incorporate streaming into their charts, such as Italy, Brazil and Poland.

Go here to learn more.




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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker.

In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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