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U.K. MUSIC MARKET FIGURES EXPLAINED

Geoff Taylor, boss of the U.K. major-label trade body BPI, has shed some light on how the annual music-market figures are calculated, and why income from ad-supported streams isn’t included. YouTube views don’t count towards Blighty’s Official Chart wither, as they do in the U.S.; read on to find out why.

In an interview with Music Ally, Taylor says the £251m figure that represents the amount of moolah streaming contributed to the U.K. music market in 2015 is without ad-supported revenue, whereas the BPI’s 26.8 billion audio-stream count (up 82% YoY) includes that data.

It’s not possible to give a retail figure for ad-supported income, because it’s not based on units, explains Taylor. He agrees, however, that “ad-supported income is increasingly important, but [for now] it remains a relatively minor share of the overall pie and, in my view, is smaller than it should be.”

Taylor then offers a dig at freemium, saying ad-supported is “not making the financial contribution it should be to investors in music compared to other formats.” Could that be a hint at the continued pressure Spotify’s investors—which include Sony, Universal and Warner—are putting on the streaming service to ditch or modify its free tier? 2015 was rife with rumors that Spotify might change its model, something that could very well happen over the next 12 months, likely depending in part on possible inroads made by Apple Music.

Another interesting point is that neither the BPI nor Official Charts count YouTube streams when calculating market figures and chart placement. Says Taylor: “The fact that video contributes so little economically back to the business—in terms of ad-supported video streams—doesn’t help the case for its inclusion.”

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