From YouTube’s new music chart ranking methodology to Amazon Music HD get schooled on this month’s biggest headlines with our industry roundup. Check it out:

YouTube Revamps View Count for Music Chart Ranking

In an effort to provide more credibility and consistency on its platform, YouTube announced last week that it will be updating how certain metrics, like views, will be counted within its music chart system. Going forward, YouTube will no longer count advertising views when calculating the 24-hour record debuts. Artists will now be ranked solely on view counts from organic plays. This shift in methodology enables YouTube to provide more transparency to the industry and align with the policies of other official charting companies (like Billboard and Nielsen). To break it down further, videos eligible for the 24-hour record debuts will be those with the highest view count from organic sources within the first 24 hours of the video’s public release. Organic sources can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Direct links to the video
  • Search results
  • External sites that embed the video
  • YouTube features (homepage, watch next, and Trending)

Currently, the YouTube Music Charts is the industry’s go-to destination to see what videos are popular, rising, and trending on both a local and global scale. The charts provide valuable insights measuring the popularity of music listening behaviors on the world’s largest music platform. YouTube is implementing this new methodology so that it remains a place where artists are accurately recognized and celebrated for their milestone achievements. While the new metrics system is currently in use, YouTube noted that any changes will not impact existing 24-hour record debut holders.

Introducing Amazon Music HD Streaming Tier

Amazon is ready to elevate its users’ listening experience with the introduction of a new high-quality streaming tier called Amazon Music HD. Amazon notes that this new tier will enable its subscribers to listen to music “the way artists intended it to be heard” by offering high-definition streaming and downloading options. Subscribers of Amazon Music HD will enjoy access to over 50 million songs in what Amazon is calling “HD” which is 16-bit and 44.1kHz (similar quality of what you expect from a CD). They will also have access to “millions” of tracks in Ultra HD which is 24-bit and 192kHz (the highest quality available for music streaming). To entice current and potential subscribers to make the switch, Amazon is offering a free 90-day trial for those who sign up for the service at launch. Outside of the trail, Amazon Music HD will be available to Prime users for $12.99 a month or $14.99 for everyone else. Current Amazon Music subscribers can upgrade any individual or family plan for an additional $5 a month.

Apple Music Launches on the Web

Following Apple’s flagship annual September event, the media giant announced the launch of a new web interface that will allow current Apple Music subscribers to stream music directly from a browser, with no additional application/installation needed. The new Apple Music webpage will look very similar to Apple’s new standalone Music app that will be rolling out with macOS Catalina later this year. It will include a majority of the Apple Music features subscribers currently enjoy including access to the platform’s full music catalog as well as any track users have synced to their library that aren’t on Apple Music. The website will also feature certain playlists and radio stations. Apple Music’s webpage will initially be missing some features as well like the Beats 1 live broadcast, some of Apple’s original music video content, and some smart playlists.

The Apple Music website will work on all browsers (including Google Chrome), devices (including Windows 10 and Chrome OS), and mobile platforms (including Android). Currently, a public beta of the product is open for all Apple Music subscribers you can do so here.

Spotify For Artists Application Gets A Makeover

Two years after its initial release, major changes are officially coming to the Spotify for Artists application. The update that was rolled out last week includes new real-time stats, a fresh design, and an enhanced Home tab. These changes were implemented to provide Spotify for Artist users more advanced tools to better understand their audiences, manage their profiles, and celebrate new releases/milestones.

  • Real-time Stats – The most notable change users can expect is the introduction of real-time listening stats for new releases and milestones. Moving forward, when an artist drops a new single/album for the first week their music is live, they will be able to monitor in real-time how many listeners are playing their track(s) around the world at any given moment. Additionally, Spotify is making it easier for artists to track important milestones including making it onto a popular playlist or adding new followers.
  • A New Look – As part of the update, the Spotify for Artists app also got a visual refresh. Both the audience analytics and music sections have been redesigned to make it easier for artists to learn more about their audiences in a clear and visual way. The refreshed look highlights who listeners are, where they’re coming from, and similar artists they’re jamming out to. Additionally, as part of the redesign, Spotify has made easier for managers to switch between different artist profiles.
  • Enhanced Home Tab – The Home tab is also getting a major educational upgrade. To ensure artists are getting the most out of the app, Spotify is adding recommendations for articles and videos on best practices for using the app. The Home tab will also feature advice from artists and product updates.

For more of the industry’s top news, make sure you check back for our next roundup!