The addition of streaming to the singles charts gave a headache to the Official Charts Company - how do you weight a listen to a tune against the purchase of a CD?
They're now adding streaming data to the album charts, and that's created an even more Sheldon Cooper style twisting of data to make sense.
They've rejected the model used by the Billboard charts:
In the US, the Billboard chart equates 1,500 streams of any song from an album to one sale.(Additionally, and surely more worryingly, it means that the effort of one song is going to be counted for both the singles and album charts, which seems odd.)
However, that leads to situations where the popularity of one song pushes the entire album up the chart.
So what have the UK chart counters come up with?
The Official Chart Company says it will weight its data to avoid similar situations.Louis Walsh was last seen heading home to see if he still had his log table.
It will look at the 12 most-streamed tracks from each album, then down-weight the two most popular in line with the average of the next 10.
These streams will then be added together and divided by 1,000. This "stream factor" will then be added to the physical/digital sales of the album, to produce an overall "sales figure" that determines an album's position in the countdown.
There's nothing like a completely transparent system to make the list of best-selling album, is there?
You might ask why it's only streaming albums which get adjusted if people access them but only want to listen to two tracks? Why shouldn't physical CDs be marked down if the purchaser only makes it through the first couple of songs, or rips it to their PC but only ever plays the hits?
The album chart, like the singles chart, will ignore YouTube data completely so won't even reflect what people are really listening to.