Used to be, musicians were judged (commercially speaking, of course) by how much radio play they got and how many albums and singles they sold. The UK's answer to Billboard, the Official Charts Company, has seen a future filled with streaming music from services like Spotify, Napster and Deezer and decided that it needed a streaming chart to truly judge the success or failure of today's, and tomorrow's, top tunes. Thus, a Top 100 streaming chart was created and is set to launch next Monday, May 14. So, who rules the web across the pond, sonically speaking? You'll have to wait for the full list, but a preview of the top ten artists awaits in the PR below.
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The Official Streaming Chart To Launch Next Week (10/05/2012)
Music streaming will come of age next week when the UK industry comes together to launch the UK's first Official Streaming Chart.
To launch the chart, the Official Charts Company has compiled below the Official Streaming Chart – most streamed artists of 2012 to date – which highlights home-grown Brit singer/songwriter talent Ed Sheeran as the king of streaming in the UK.
The new Top 100 rundown, which will launch on Monday May 14, will be compiled by the Official Charts Company with data from the nation's leading streaming services and supported by the Entertainment Retailers Association (Era) and labels association the BPI.
The Official Streaming Chart will be the first chart which ranks audio streams from both ad-funded and subscription streaming services in the UK, to reflect the growing interest in this new generation of music services.
The first Official Streaming Top 100 will be unveiled at 13:00 hrs on Monday May 14 2012 at OfficialCharts.com. It will also be published weekly in music industry business title Music Week and feature on the streaming services contributing to the chart each week.
Ed Sheeran is the runaway leader as most-streamed artist of 2012 so far (up to the end of April). He is followed by Lana Del Rey, David Guetta and Rihanna. Sheeran's performance is lead by his tracks Drunk, Lego House and The A Team, which are all among the 20 most-streamed tracks of 2012 to date.
The most-streamed track of the year so far is Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye FT Kimbra, ahead of David Guetta FT Sia's Titanium and Jessie J's Domino.
Ed Sheeran commented, "Amazing to hear that I am the most streamed act of 2012. Streaming services and online in general have always been an important way for me to get music out to my fans. A new Official Streaming Chart that recognises another way of enjoying music can only be a good thing."
Like all of the Official Charts Company's rankings, the Official Streaming Chart will be compiled from actual transaction data supplied by members of Era.
The brand new Official Streaming Chart is compiled from information contributed by a range of services including Spotify, We7, Napster, Deezer, Zune (X Box Live) and new mobile phone start-up ChartsNow.
The popularity of music streaming has grown significantly over the past 12 months. Official Charts Company estimates indicate that 2.6bn audio streams were delivered in the UK last year, while BPI surveys indicate that label revenues from streaming services increased by 30% to £35m in 2011, some 4.5% of total music industry revenues.
The UK audio streaming sector has also taken a series of significant steps forward over the past year – Spotify has dramatically grown its subscriber base, French-founded service Deezer has launched in the UK, while US streaming giant Rhapsody bought established UK player Napster at the beginning of this year.
In addition to the launch reporting audio streaming services, the Official Charts Company is also in advanced discussions with key video streaming services to collect their data with the aim of creating a different, standalone video streaming chart.
Official Charts Company managing director Martin Talbot says, "This is a true coming-of-age moment for music streaming in the UK. Services such as Spotify, Deezer, Napster and We7 have been building their audiences over the past few years and are now delivering millions of audio streams every week to hundreds of thousands of music fans. For the first time, from next week, we will have transparency on exactly what they are listening to on these new services.
BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor says, "Streaming is a fantastic way to discover new music and plays an increasingly important role in the UK's music scene. We're delighted that the Official Charts will now reveal the most popular songs streamed every week in the UK. The Official Charts tell the story of British music, and this development keeps that story bang up to date".
Era director general Kim Bayley says, "The launch of the Official Streaming Chart from data compiled by Era members marks yet another evolution in the way music fans access the music they love and reflects continuing innovation from the retail sector. Not so long ago our members operated solely out of stores; these days they offer music, video and games in a dizzying variety of formats and services. We are delighted to support the Official Streaming Chart."
Steve Savoca, Head of Content, Spotify says "This is a defining moment in the evolution of digital music as it shows music consumption as a whole. Streaming is a hugely increasingly important part of both discovery and consumption. Having a chart that reflects this allows the industry and the public to get a much better understanding of the full range of music that people are listening to." He added: "Spotify users are discovering a broad range of music, identifying great new emerging artists, such as Labrinth, Emeli Sande, and Gotye, and sharing these discoveries through social networks."
Napster General Manager (Europe) Thorsten Schliesche says, "We're delighted to be one of the initial contributors to the Official Streaming Chart. This recognises the importance of streaming services to UK music fans."
Deezer Managing Director UK & Ireland Mark Foster says, "Deezer is delighted to be a part of the Official Streaming Chart. As licensed streaming services like ourselves grow in popularity in the UK, it's only right that the millions of streams our users are generating every week will contribute to this exciting chart evolution."
We7 CEO Steve Purdham says, ""Music streaming is the real heartbeat of music taste and is coming into its own in the UK. The timing for the Official Streaming Chart launch is perfect to showcase what music fans are listening to from millions of songs."
The launch of the Official Streaming Chart importantly comes in the year of the Official Singles Chart's 60th anniversary (this coming November) and reflects the continuing evolution of the UK's Official Charts, to reflect the changing consumption habits of UK music fans.
Official Most-Streamed Artists 2012 to date (April 28)
1 ED SHEERAN
2 LANA DEL REY
3 DAVID GUETTA
7 JESSIE J
8 EMELI SANDE
9 FLORENCE & THE MACHINE