Flume at the 2016 ARIA Awards in Sydney

Flume at the 2016 ARIA Awards in Sydney

Photo credit: Jordan Kirk at xinger xanger

Australia’s official weekly album charts will count on-demand audio streams for the first time, trade body ARIA announced Thursday (May 4).

The first ARIA Albums Chart to integrate streams will be unveiled this Saturday (May 13), using data provided by the likes of Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Google Play and other digital music services.

The long-awaited move, notes ARIA, will more accurately reflect the country's most popular albums and it comes at a time for “dramatic" growth in streaming which has doubled in value since 2015 and now represents the largest slice of the Australian record industry’s revenue pie.   

Revenue from streaming products in 2016 increased by more than 90% year-on-year for a sum of A$135 million ($105 million) and now accounts for almost 40% of the recorded music market’s total value, which reached A$352.2 million ($269 million) last year, up 5.5%, according to recently published trade data.

“The ARIA Charts are an Australian institution, followed by the music industry and fans alike so it is essential that we continue to reflect how Australians are consuming music,” comments ARIA CEO Dan Rosen in a statement announcing the development. “With streaming now the primary method of music consumption in Australia, ARIA can ensure that the ARIA Albums Chart will continue to be the most accurate indication of the nation’s favorite music each and every week.”

ARIA’s new methodology is based on those adopted by the U.K.’s Official Chart Company and several European charts compilers and is designed so that a handful of standout tracks don’t distort the performance of their associated album. 

Through its stream equivalent album (SEA) calculation, ARIA caps the numbers generated by the two highest-performing tracks at the average number of streams achieved by the next eight-highest-streamed tracks on the album. Where an LP has fewer than 10 tracks, the top-two average is calculated from all the remaining songs. 

The streams of the top 10 tracks (or all tracks where an album has fewer than 10 works) making up the recording are aggregated and converted using the same ratio as ARIA uses with its hybrid singles chart, where 175 streams count as one unit. ARIA has counted streams toward its singles chart since 2014.  

The new measure will apply to all ARIA’s album charts, which include tallies for Country, Classical and Urban, and streams will now also be used to calculate gold (35,000 sales) and platinum (70,000) certificates, effective from May 5. 

ARIA compiles its portfolio of charts using data from more than 1,200 music retailers, including department stores, chain stores, independent retailers, streaming outlets, and digital providers.