Apple Music streams will get more weight on Billboard charts in 2018

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Music Browse iPhone 7
Apple Music is about to have a bigger impact on music charts.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Billboard is making big changes to the way it measures the hottest songs in the country — and that’s great news for Apple Music.

Streams from paid subscription services like Apple Music and Amazon Music Unlimited will gain influence on the charts starting in 2018, according to Billboard, which revealed its changes today.

“Plays occurring on paid subscription-based services … will be given more weight in chart calculations than those plays on pure ad-supported services (such as YouTube) or on the non-paid tiers of hybrid paid/ad-supported services,” Billboard explained in a post on its website.

Streams from paid subscription tiers of freemium services like Spotify and SoundCloud will also wield more weight. Billboard says the changes reflect how listeners consume music now, as services like Apple Music and Spotify amass more users.

Streaming music and the pop charts

Changing the ranking system will likely please Apple Music boss Jimmy Iovine. During recent interviews, Iovine repeatedly lamented over the harm that free services like YouTube are doing to the industry. Iovine also said paid streaming services should get a higher weight in the music charts because promoting free services disincentivizes artists.

Billboard 100 streaming
Current streaming services contributing to the Billboard Hot 100.
Photo: Billboard