It’s always an exciting time when your favorite artist releases new music, and though streams don’t matter as much as your love for music, fans still try their best to get their faves on the charts.
But streaming isn’t as simple as you think. There can be certain restrictions and implications needed to properly get a song/album to chart, and we’re here to break it down for you to help make the most of your streaming parties.
Top charts that include streams:
- Hot 100 (songs)
- Billboard 200 (albums)
- Artist 100 (artists)
- Streaming Songs (songs)
- Social 50 (artists)
Generally, charts reflect sales and airplay between Friday and Thursday of any given week.
Streaming platforms include:
- On-Demand: Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon Music, YouTube, Facebook, etc.
- Programmed: Pandora, LiveXLive Powered by Slacker, iHeartRadio, etc.
Paid subscriptions have more weight (1,250 streams = 1 album unit) than ad-supported subscriptions (3,750 streams = 1 album unit). Trials equate to paid.
- GOLD certification: 500,000 units
- PLATINUM certification: 1,000,000 units
- MULTI-PLATINUM certification: 2,000,000 units (in increments of one million thereafter)
- DIAMOND certification: 10,000,000 units
150 on-demand audio and/or video streams will count as 1 Unit for certification purposes.
Multiple versions of digital tracks can be combined:
- Tracks defined as ‘radio mix’ or ‘album version’
- Edited and explicit versions
- Remixes not more than 90 seconds longer than the original version
Spotify & Apple Music
Stream the Song(s) From a Playlist
Try streaming the songs/albums using a playlist. Make a playlist and add the songs multiple times, and make sure you add a few other songs from the same/different artist. Use playlists that the streaming services have made such as the ‘A-List Pop’ on Apple Music or ‘Today’s Top Hits’ on Spotify to stream the songs as well. If the artist has made a playlist, use that, too.
Don’t Put the Volume on Mute
While streaming, do not put the song(s) on mute. Otherwise, they won’t count towards streaming. If it does bother you, try using headphones — you don’t have to put them in your ears — or putting the volume on low.
Use Multiple Devices to Stream
To increase streams, try streaming from as many accounts and devices as possible, like your phone and your computer.
Don’t Use a VPN to Stream
Big charts such as the Billboard 200 are based on streams from specific regions. But platforms have gotten savvy to fans from other locations using VPNs to boost streams, and now they won’t count those streams.
Listen to a Track for a Minimum of 30 Seconds
Make sure you listen to a song for at LEAST 30 seconds. Spotify and Apple Music count streams towards a song when the song has been played for a minimum of 30 seconds–so try and listen for that amount of time before skipping to a different track.
What About Songs That are on Repeat/Loop?
After much research, it is yet to be officially confirmed whether or not looped songs count towards streams. It is possible that they would be counted normally if the song has been streamed for at least 30 seconds, but many platforms consider it to be ‘bot behavior’ and therefore don’t count them towards the number of streams.
We aren’t 100% sure which is true, especially with different platforms having different algorithms —but we suggest avoiding keeping songs on repeat just in case. Try playing one or two songs from different artists in between just to be on the safe side! You could even create your own playlist complied with the track(s) you’re streaming and some other fun songs to get the streams up instead of keeping it on repeat. Besides–the more bops, the better!
Don’t Gift a Song
iTunes has an option where you can gift songs or albums to friends or family members, and though this may seem like a great way to promote the song/album, gifted songs do not count towards the charts.
Buy The Song/Album
If you can, try and buy the album or song on iTunes! Sales count higher towards some charts and help with RIAA certification.
Find the Official Channel
Make sure you’re watching the video from the artist’s official channel. They will be verified by YouTube and often end in VEVO.
Log In, Log Out, Log In, Log Out
Repeatedly log out of YouTube, clear your cookies/cache, log back in, search for the video, and play it manually. This not only increases views but also increases search volume which could help boost SEO. Afterall, YouTube is just Google for videos.
Use Multiple Devices to Stream
Stream from one account on your computer and another from your phone. Or your mom’s phone. Or your teacher’s laptop. Or your best friend’s tablet.
Keep YouTube’s Volume Up
Always keep the YouTube volume on; it’s okay to mute the actual device.
Interact with the Video
Interact with the video by liking and commenting, but do not spam. Pause, play, and rewind every so often so you do not appear to be a bot
- Act like a human, not a bot; interact with the streaming platform as you normally would
- Do not spam comments
- Do not overly repeat tracks
- Do not listen on mute
- Plug headphones in but don’t put them in your ears if you need a listening break
- Streams from paid accounts count more
- Purchases (physical albums, iTunes) are still important and count toward RIAA certifications
And of course, don’t forget to enjoy the music. Sometimes we can get caught up in numbers instead of the real purpose of the music. Happy streaming!
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