There’s a huge and long-awaited change about to hit the ARIA Albums Chart, with the announcement today that the chart will now include streaming figure in its calculations – a move that follows a similar change to the Singles Chart back in 2014.

“Commencing with charts published on Monday May 15,” ARIA revealed this morning, “qualifying on-demand streams will contribute to the album charts result.”

With streaming revenue now contributing 38% of the market value of Australia’s music industry, the move seems like an obvious one, but ARIA was intent on putting the right methodology in place.

Drawing on “concepts utilised in both the UK and Nordic territories” when determining the equivalent value of streams in comparison to a physical or digital purchase, the organisation believes it has “developed a conversion rate reflective of the local market conditions”.

“The ARIA Board has spent significant time considering the issues surrounding the integration of streams into the albums charts, and will continue to monitor the local impact and closely watch developments in other territories.”

The new methodology, detailed below, is designed to ensure that a small number of standout singles don’t artificially inflate the performance of their associated album. Instead, ARIA is reducing the numbers accrued by the two highest-performing tracks to an average taken from the next eight, thus aggregating the top ten tracks before applying their conversion factor of 1:175.

ARIA CEO Dan Rosen expressed a belief that the chart is an accurate representation of Australia’s listening habits, and each record’s actual performance.

“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 favourite music each and every week.”

The full media release is included below, including the calculation methodology, and any questions can be directed to charts.mail@aria.com.au

The ARIA Albums Chart to integrate audio streams for first time

The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) is pleased to announce that the ARIA Albums Charts are for the first time set to include on demand audio streams for the chart published on Monday 15th May 2017.

The move to include streaming into the Albums Charts follows the successful addition of streams to the ARIA Singles Chart from November 2014. This change reflects the dramatic growth in streaming, which has doubled in value since 2015 and is now the largest component of the Australian recording industry’s revenue.

ARIA Chief Executive Officer, Dan Rosen said “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. 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 favourite music each and every week.”

Streaming data will continue to be collected from on demand streaming services Apple Music, Deezer, Google Play, Spotify (and other services as they develop and become chart data contributors). The new measure will see this streaming data being used in all of ARIA’s Album Chart calculations which consist of genre albums charts including Country, Classical and Urban.

To reflect the difference in value between streaming and purchasing (download and physical), ARIA has developed a conversion rate reflective of the local market conditions and based on methodology adopted by the UK’s Official Chart Company and several European charts.

To determine rankings for the ARIA Albums Chart, qualifying streams from an album will be combined to produce a stream equivalent album (SEA) value which can then be aggregated with other qualifying sales. For further details on the calculation process please see below.

ARIA Album Accreditations will also, from Friday 5th May, extend to include chart eligible stream equivalent activity (including Streaming Equivalent Album sales) and are issued for albums achieving Gold (35,000 units) and Platinum (70,000 units).

The first ARIA Albums Chart to incorporate streams will be unveiled at 5pm on Saturday 13th May at ariacharts.com.au.

SEA Calculation

  1. The two tracks attracting most streams are reduced to the level of the average of the next eight highest streamed tracks associated with the album (or all tracks where an album has fewer than ten tracks). This ensures that albums with one or two hit singles do not distort the performance of an album within the albums chart.
  1. After the methodology above is applied, the streams of the top ten tracks (or all tracks where an album has fewer than ten tracks) making up the album are aggregated together and converted using the streaming conversion factor established for the singles 1:175 and the widely used rate of ten tracks = one album.