The addition of streaming services to the Official Charts has added a number of complications to the weekly calculation of chart eligible sales. This guide will help you to understand how the charts are compiled in the UK.
How does the Singles Chart work?
New releases will have a streaming ratio applied to them in order to calculate the number of streams equivalent to a sale. The ratio used will depend on the age of the release and whether the listener streamed the track or album using a premium or an ad funded (free) service.
Standard Chart Ratios (SCR)
New releases will have a streaming to sales ratio of 100:1 (in the case of premium streams) or 600:1 (in the case of ad funded streams) applied.
A release picks up 15,000 streams this week. 9,000 of those streams are premium and 6,000 are ad funded. The release will have a total of 100 chart sales (90 premium, 10 ad funded).
Accelerated Chart Ratios (ACR)
Using only SCR to calculate the chart meant that a number of singles would stay in the charts for months following release with new releases finding it difficult to impact upon the charts. In order to keep the chart fresh, Accelerated Chart Ratios were introduced.
After 3 consecutive weeks of decline a stream to sale ratio of 200:1 (in the case of premium streams) or 1200:1 (in the case of ad funded streams) will be applied.
A release picks up 15,000 streams this week. 9,000 of those streams are premium and 6,000 are ad funded. The release will have a total of 50 chart sales (45 premium, 5 ad funded).
What else do I need to know?
Accelerated Chart Ratio cannot be applied to any product with fewer than 9 weeks on the chart (i.e. ACR can only be applied in the 10th week on the Top 100 chart, at the earliest).
SCR and ACR apply regardless of whether the stream is audio or video.
“Decline” is defined as negative week on week variance of combined audio and video streams below the combined streaming market rate of change week on week.
Automatic Resets: A track within the Top 100 on Accelerated Chart Ratios (ACR) which is within 3 years of release can automatically return to Standard Chart Ratios (SCR) if its streams total increases by 25% greater than the streaming market change week on week.
A track with a week on week variance of +14%, in a week where market variance is -11%, would be automatically reset.
A maximum of three singles within the Top 100 by the same artist will be chart eligible. These will be the three most popular singles in a week based on combined sales and streams.
So how does this all work for albums?
The 2 album tracks with the most streams are neutralised to the level of the average of the next 10 most streamed tracks on the album.
The streams of the top 12 tracks (or all tracks if an album has fewer than 12 tracks) are aggregated together and converted using a ratio of 1,000 streams = 1 album sale.
An album has 13 tracks.
Track one is streamed 50,000 times
Track two is streamed 75,000 times.
Tracks three to twelve are all streamed exactly 20,000 times each.
Track thirteen is streamed 5,000 times.
Tracks one and two are both normalised to 20,000 – the average of tracks 3-12.
The twelve most streamed tracks (1-12) are then added together = 240,000.
The 1000:1 ratio is applied resulting in 240 chart eligible sales.
You may want to take some time to familiarise yourself with the chart rules in full. There are a number of additional rules governing Chart eligibility that are likely to affect your campaign. You can find the rules in full on the Official Charts website: https://www.officialcharts.com/getting-into-the-charts/meeting-the-chart-rules/