Spotify has announced the debut of its Weekly Music Charts, which includes an albums chart, a new move for the streaming giant. According to the announcement, the new charts include:
- The Weekly Top 50 will celebrate the biggest albums and tracks in the world each week, Friday through Thursday, consisting of a US Weekly Album Chart, Global Weekly Album Chart, US Weekly Song Chart and Global Weekly Song Chart, published every Monday.
- The US Top 10 Debuts and Global Top 10 Debuts lists capture the biggest new releases on Spotify, Friday through Sunday. These lists incorporate data from the first 72 hours a song or album is live, giving an early take on new music.
All of Spotify’s charts will live exclusively on @spotifycharts Twitter and new charts will be added in the coming months.
“Spotify’s new-and first ever-album charts will showcase the power of albums on the platform, highlighting the craft of creating a full album, the immense effort that is often involved, and the way that albums connect fans all around the world,” the announcement reads. “Albums are stories, and often deeply personal ones, that artists are telling in their own unique way and we want to celebrate these artistic labors of love.”
“We are excited to launch our charts as a new way for us to take a moment and celebrate artist success — both for individual tracks and for albums as whole — in the fastest and most accurate way ever.” said Jeremy Erlich, Spotfy’s co-head of Music. “Artists pour their energy and creativity into their work so it was important for us to recognize it in all the ways they intended the fans to listen.”
The focus on albums is intriguing in light of some uncharacteristically pointed comments that Spotify cofounder and CEO Daniel Ek made to Music Ally over the summer regarding album cycles.
While he was speaking about the frequent, and not unjustified, complaints that artists make about the low royalties they receive from streaming — which, to be fair, are often the doing of their record labels rather than the streaming services — Ek essentially said that many of those artists are clinging to the album-every-three-years-or-so model, which is fading in the streaming age.
“There is a narrative fallacy here, combined with the fact that, obviously, some artists that used to do well in the past may not do well in this future landscape, where you can’t record music once every three to four years and think that’s going to be enough,” he said. “The artists today that are making it realize that it’s about creating a continuous engagement with their fans. It is about putting the work in, about the storytelling around the album, and about keeping a continuous dialogue with your fans.” He cited Taylor Swift’s engagement with her fans as a strong example.
“I feel, really, that the ones that aren’t doing well in streaming are predominantly people who want to release music the way it used to be released,” he concluded. Not surprisingly, those comments were unpopular in certain corners of the music world.