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NEW RULES FOR U.K. SINGLES CHART

In another blow to the fading significance of downloads, the Official Charts Company has once again revamped its singles chart rules. The Accelerated Chart Ratio will now only kick in after declining streams instead of streams and downloads, according to a report in Music Week.

Introduced in 2017, ACR punishes singles that have been in the Top 100 chart for more than nine weeks and have experienced three consecutive weeks of sales decline. The goal is to make space for new tracks. For those that meet the rules, an accelerated stream-to-sale ratio of 300:1 was applied from the 10th week onward, increasing the rate of decline down the chart.

Both download sales and streaming data have been used to determine when ACR would kick in, but as of this week, the rule will only apply to a downturn in streams with downloads out of the picture. That prevents labels from avoiding ACR by attempting to revamp flagging sales using iTunes price reductions. The new ratio is double the normal stream to sale ratio—200:1 for premium streams and 1200:1 for ad-funded streams.

The result might see more tracks moving down the charts faster, instead of remaining steady thanks to iTunes sales. However, with streaming making up around 90% of the singles chart these days, the impact could be negligible.

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