Billboard has announced that starting in 2018, the way streaming services contribute to Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200 chart placement will be adjusted.
The chart-making media company currently weights streams according to two categories — on-demand (Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube) and programmed (Pandora). Of these, the on-demand streaming services are weighted slightly higher. The Hot 100 includes video plays, while the Billboard 200 does not.
Under the new system, Billboard's streaming classification model will weight paid subscription-based services or tiers higher than purely ad-supported services (like YouTube). This means the Hot 100 will be calculated based on paid subscription streams, ad-supported streams and programmed streams, in addition to radio airplay and digital song sales. The Billboard 200 will be measured using both on-demand and paid subscription equivalent album streaming, in addition to album sales and track equivalent albums.
"The shift to a multilevel streaming approach to Billboard's chart methodology is a reflection of how music is now being consumed on streaming services, migrating from a pure on-demand experience to a more diverse selection of listening," the company writes. "It is Billboard's belief that assigning values to the levels of consumer engagement and access — along with the compensation derived from those options — better reflects the varied user activity occurring on these services."