As previously reported, the brand new ARIA streaming charts launched this week, introduced to recognise the cultural shift in the rising importance and popularity of streaming services, particularly in Australia, where a large number of international and local streaming providers have launched this year. Including Deezer, Rdio, JB Hi-Fi Now, Mog, Rara, and market leader Spotify.
Following months of consultation and negotiations with digital streaming services, the Australian Record Industry Association has followed in the footsteps of their UK counterparts with the first ARIA Streaming Tracks Chart, and the results reveal some interesting trends in listeners’ habits and patterns.
In a slightly better result than the recent Top 100 list of Commercial Radio hits, showing a disastrous lack of local support; of the 40 individual tracks that make up the debut list six of them are Australian acts, with Guy Sebastian’s Lupe Fiasco-featuring ‘Battle Scars’ ranking the highest at #11.
While the list shows a domination of international pop acts and commercial stars, unlike the dismal showing of Australian artists in the Music Network’s Top 100 most heard songs on radio, fans of more adventurous music (and less of commercial fodder) will be pleased with the other five entries in the Top 40.
Sitting at #26 is the world-conquering Tame Impala and their Lonerism highlight ‘Feels Like We’re Only Going Backwards’, while following close behind at #27 is Sydney producer/beat-maker Flume, and his track ‘On Top.’
Perth poppets San Cisco appear at #32 with the lead single from their eponymous debut, ‘Wild Things’, while the muscular swagger of The Rubens’ ‘The Best We Got’ and ‘Coming Down’ from Brisbane’s Ball Park Music round out the list at #38 and #40 respectively.
Topping the list is the same pair that are currently dominating this week’s ARIA Singles Chart, with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ hugely popular (and hugely catchy) Maz-featured single ‘Thrift Store’ sitting at #1, with #2 occupied by Swedish House Mafia’s club anthem, ‘Don’t You Worry Child’.
In fact there’s more than a few mirrored entrants between the ARIA Singles Chart – made entirely from digital downloads – and the brand new Streaming Chart, with multiple singles appearing in both lists, which demonstrates that many streaming service listeners’ listener’s habits are more in line with the ‘one song across a playlist or mixtape’ habit than it is listening to entire albums.
Something that’s doubly reflected by the appearance of Tame Impala, The Rubens, and Ball Park Music – whose singles have all been listed in the recent Triple J Hit List, a weekly playlist the youth radio station compiles specifically for its Spotify-associated app. One of many such playlists on the popular streaming service – including the millions of user-generated mixtapes – but given that those tracks in particularly have ranked in Australia’s Top 40 when listeners have access to an approximately 18 million strong catalogue of songs speaks highly of both Triple J and Spotify’s influence as well as the continued pull of newer music.
Other notable entrants include recently touring acts like Mumford & Sons – with their Babylon single ‘I Will Wait’ charting at #20 – and Mercury Prize winners Alt-J claiming #29 with ‘Breezeblocks’, both acts that have recently experienced super-popular tours down under (in the Gentlemen of the Road-aided tour from the former, and the two sold-out club shows of the latter).
The popular figures of touring bands was another trend present in Spotify’s recently released list of Australia’s Most Streamed Artists & Albums, showing that bands who had just toured the country (or about to) were often those users were listening to the most.
Of course Spotify is only one of three streaming services contributing to the charts statistics, along with JB HiFi now and Samsung Music, but ARIA is continuing negotiations with other notable streaming services, chiefly Deezer, Rdio and Mog, to help contribute to the newly-minted chart.
Renee Chambers, head of Spotify’s Label Relations, told Tone Deaf previously that Spotify were “willing and able to provide data to ARIA,” adding “we were very much on board with the OCC streaming chart launch recently in the UK.”
While ARIA CEO Dan Rosen told Tone Deaf in an interview earlier this year, that he was “working with each of the various music streaming services that have entered the local market to acquire the data necessary to produce a weekly ARIA Streaming Chart” but stressed that it was not a simple process.
Rosen has also flagged plans to to eventually include data from the streaming charts into the algorithm that produces the ARIA singles charts which at the moment is based solely on digital downloads.
The move to track streaming comes as Rosen and his team at ARIA look to stay relevant by embracing the digital revolution that turned the music industry on its head globally. “The advent of streaming services is an exciting development for our industry and one which we are very proud of as the music industry continues to lead the way in embracing new business models for the digital age,” said Rosen.
“However with physical products such as CDs and vinyl still making up over 50% of the market and digital downloads accounting for the majority of digital revenue, it is too early to say whether streaming will be the future of music.”
You can view the first ever ARIA Streaming Charts Top 40 here.