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LIMITS, RATIOS & RECORDS: SINGLES CHART REVAMPED

Detailed rules have been spelled out for the U.K.’s recently revamped Official Singles Chart that are expected to boost the number of chart hits by around 10%. They are in effect now, so put your Fourth of July hangovers aside and listen up. 

To avoid having a single artist dominate the Top 20 with an album—Ed Sheeran comes to mind—a maximum of three of the most popular singles (based on sales and streams) within the Top 100 by the same artist will be chart eligible, say the Official Charts Company.

Featured artists need not worry. The current DJ Khaled track f/Rihanna and Bryson Tiller, for example, only counts toward Khaled’s three entries as he is the lead artist. Rihanna could also have three entries of her own as a lead. When it comes to singles that are by two artists equally, such as ZAYN and Taylor Swift’s “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever,” the single will count as one of the three entries for the artist signed to the releasing label (in this case, it was Virgin EMI so it’s Taylor Swift). Say ZAYN was signed to Universal too and not Sony, Universal, as the releasing label, must nominate the primary artist.

As per the rules that were introduced in January, new releases will have a streaming to sales ratio of 150:1. However, for tracks that have been in the Top 100 chart for more than nine weeks and have experienced three consecutive weeks of sales decline, an accelerated stream to sale ratio of 300:1 will be applied from the 10th week onward. 

The ratio can be reversed back to 150:1 if a track’s combined sales and stream total increases by 50% more than the market change week on week. In exceptional circumstances, where a track is being scheduled for promotion, a label may elect to manually reset a track back to 150:1. That reset is limited to two tracks per artist album, and only where the track in question is outside the Top 100.

Are you still with us? We’re nearly there. Now, U.K. rights owners/licensees may request to exclude the third bestselling single by an artist and replace it with the fourth if that third is outside the Top 20. The one that’s been excluded will not be chart eligible for a period of six months.

In exceptional circumstances, the second bestselling single by an artist could be excluded and replaced with their fourth bestselling track. This latter rule can only be applied for second best-selling singles that are outside of the Top 20 tracks that have had that 300:1 accelerated stream ratio applied. 

 

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