Unless you have signed up for Tidal — which, let’s face it, you haven’t — when you attempt to stream a song hosted on the platform, you’ll be treated to a 30-second, lo-fidelity preview only.
If whispers shared by Hits Daily Double are correct (“source inside Billboard confirm” is a shaky phrase), it would seem that Billboard are planning to include such in-front-of-the-paywall streams in their album charts – which will skew things in an odd direction.
The first new release this will impact is Meek Mill’s album Wins & Losses; it will interesting to see how this charts next week, and whether the 30-second streams are included in the count. Or whether this information will be made public. Or whether Meek Mill includes a diss track about Drake on the album.
Hits Daily Double suggests that the use of bots to artificially inflate streaming counts would be a lot harder to trace without required logins, which is true – but if labels wish to game the charts in 2017, it’s a fairly easy process anyway.
As with police radar scanners, and video piracy, it’s those breaking the rules who are way ahead of the game. Over to you, Drake.