Album streaming figures, revised certification criteria and new Heatseeker charts will make tracking modern music consumption trends and behaviour easier as the Official NZ Top 40 Charts implement changes.
While the Singles Charts already incorporate streaming data, on-demand streams have so far not contributed toward the Album Charts.
This past Friday Recorded Music NZ unveiled a ‘Stream Equivalent Album’ (SEA) point system which continues the audio conversion rate method instituted in the Singles Charts and then applies an additional layer for albums.
The current singles audio conversion rate in New Zealand is 1:175 – sales to streams. Taking the 10 most streamed tracks from each album (using the widely used measurement of 10 tracks equals one album); the top two songs will then be down-weighted in line with the average of the rest to ensure the chart is not distorted by an influx of “one-hit albums”. The model is similar to the one adopted by the United Kingdom last year.
Statistics are collected from all major on-demand streaming services including Apple Music, Spotify and Google Play, and are added to the data already received by physical retailers such as The Warehouse and JB Hi-Fi and digital download retailers such as iTunes.
With regards to gold and platinum sales certification, albums are required to reach 7,500 SEA points (a combination of sales and streaming) to achieve gold and 15,000 points to achieve platinum.
Reflecting the massive growth in digital music consumption in New Zealand, single certifications will be raised to 15,000 points for gold and 30,000 for platinum.
Heatseekers and Bullets
The Heatseeker Singles Chart, highlighting the fastest-rising tracks outside the Top 40, has had a methodology tweak to reflect the greatest gains in popularity over the past week.
The new Heatseeker charts have been introduced for the Album Charts as well as the New Zealand Albums and Singles, creating a total of four charts which reflect the biggest climbers and most active new releases of the week.
The Heatseeker charts give consumers a wider breadth of insight when it comes to the hottest music in the country and can be found on the new ‘Discover’ tab on the nztop40.co.nz website.
Finally, the development of bullet tracks gives further insight in to what’s hot.
Bullet tracks are determined in exactly the same way as the Heatseeker charts but correspond to the fastest risers already in the Top 40 or 20.
Recorded Music Data General Manager Paul Kennedy says the changes have been made to modernise the charts.
“Streaming is now the number one method of music consumption in New Zealand, therefore it is essential that the charts accurately reflect music consumption in New Zealand.
“Adding in features such as the Heatseeker charts and bullet tracks enables people to see what’s trending, as well as what’s consistently popular on the Top 40 Charts.”