Streaming-Only Albums Are Now Eligible To Receive Grammy Awards
As streaming music approaches its cultural tipping point, the music industry has quickly taken notice. And next year, the Grammys will finally embrace streaming, too.
Today, the Recording Academy announced that streaming-only releases will now be eligible for consideration for Grammy nominations, one of five big changes that will be implemented immediately. The 59th annual Grammy Awards are set to take place Feb. 12, 2017.
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“Our trustees felt like the time had come; it’s been on our radar for a couple of years now,” said Recording Academy SVP of Awards Bill Freimuth about the change in attitude away from retail-only releases. “The goal was to include recordings that were worthy of Grammy consideration that were streaming-only — which it turns out were a pretty small number — and exclude the 12-year-old singing a Beyonce cover into her comb that’s easy to put up online also these days for streaming.”
Under the new guidelines, any recording released to at least one of the “majors” of the space — Spotify (due to its paid tier), Apple Music, Tidal or Google Play, for example — would qualify as a release in general distribution. Recordings released exclusively via Pandora, which has not yet launched an on-demand service, or Soundcloud Go, which only debuted at the end of March and would not have a full year under its belt by the Sept. 30 cutoff, would not be eligible; similarly, smaller genre-specific streamers would not pass the “full catalogue” litmus test. YouTube-only releases are also ineligible, as would mixtapes released for free via sites such as Datpiff or LiveMixtapes that are not also available elsewhere.
So Datpiff and Livemixtapes can’t get one?!?