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Grammys Updates Rules to Include Streaming-Only Works, Sets 2017 Awards Date

The Recording Academy has made rule amendments for the 59th Grammy Awards, which will take place on Feb. 12, 2017.

Topping the list of five new rules, announced Thursday, is updated eligibility for streaming-only releases. The revision applies to albums and singles released exclusively on streaming services, like Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal, that offer paid subscription and have existed in the United States for at least one year.

This update mirrors a trend in the industry for artists to release music solely on streaming services, like Kanye West’s “The Life of Pablo,” which launched on Tidal, and Chance the Rapper’s “Coloring Book,” which debuted on Apple Music.

The albums and singles must be available nationwide between Oct. 1, 2015, and Sept. 30, 2016, in order to be considered for the 2017 awards. Nominations will be unveiled on Dec. 6, 2016.

“I’m proud of this year’s changes because they’re a testament to the artists, producers, and writers — the people who rolled up their sleeves to shape the proposals and, in turn, the future of the Grammys,” said the Academy’s Senior VP of Awards, Bill Freimuth. “It’s exactly what they should be doing.”

Other updated rules include limiting the number of categories that Academy members can vote on from 20 to 15, in addition to record of the year, album of the year, song of the year, and best new artist.

The best new artist category will no longer require artists to release a full album. Instead, it allows for a minimum of five singles, but no more than 30 singles in order to be considered.

The best blues album award will be split into two separate honors — best traditional blues album and best contemporary blues album.

Finally, the best rap/sung collaboration was renamed best rap/sung performance.

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