Friday, May 11, 2012

Streaming piles

I'm struggling to grasp what the point of a a chart of streaming music is meant to do. Besides, perhaps, drawing some brief attention to the existence of streaming services?

One chart - the chart, the Sunday one that used to be the Tuesday lunchtime one - is fair enough, although given the instant feedback and constant monitoring you get online its now more about confirming what you already know; a moment to freeze the data rather than a revelation.

And that should contain a details of all music consumption that implies a transaction has taken place.

But is anyone - outside, perhaps, the people who run the servers and collect the royalties - that worried about the granularity of the detail?

Here, from the Official Charts Company, are the streaming and sales charts of the year so far:

01 ED SHEERAN 01 DAVID GUETTA
02 LANA DEL REY 02 GOTYE
03 DAVID GUETTA 03 JESSIE J
04 RIHANNA 04 FLO RIDA
05 COLDPLAY 05 NICKI MINAJ
06 GOTYE 06 ED SHEERAN
07 JESSIE J 07 RIHANNA
08 EMELI SANDE 08 EMELI SANDE
09 FLORENCE & THE MACHINE 09 RIZZLE KICKS
10 DRAKE 10 KATY PERRY
11 FLO RIDA 11 COLDPLAY
12 BEYONCE 12 LMFAO
13 ADELE 13 OLLY MURS
14 BEN HOWARD 14 DJ FRESH
15 SKRILLEX 15 CARLY RAE JEPSEN
16 RIZZLE KICKS 16 LANA DEL REY
17 NICKI MINAJ 17 ADELE
18 KATY PERRY 18 LABRINTH
19 OLLY MURS 19 KELLY CLARKSON
20 ONE DIRECTION 20 BEYONCE
Which is which? Does it matter overmuch? (The streaming chart is the one on the left, the singles chart on the right).

I'm not against the idea of sharing the data; I just don't see that what we're getting requires the hoopla of pretending it's a useful chart.


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