It may be a few years since you last sat waiting eagerly for the Radio 1 Top 40 show, fingers eagerly hovering over play and record, so you'll be forgiven for not noticing a subtle change to how the chart is now being compiled. From this month the chart now consists not only of the music that people buy but also the music that people listen to online, with one hundred online plays on sites like Spotify and YouTube being the equivalent to one purchase.
That seems fair enough to me. Lots of people consume plenty of music perfectly legally without every buying any and it's a logical progression that the chart now reflects that. In fact they have started counting downloads since the 1st January and this has acted as a little fillip for a couple of Britpop tunes.
According to the BPI, Road Rage by Catatonia has now gone silver. My guess is that the single sales of this have long sat just below the threshold for a silver disc, but add in half a year's streaming stats and Cerys is breaking open the bubbly.
Also of interest is the fact that Champagne Supernova by Oasis has gone silver. What's curious here is that the song was never released as a single in the UK (though it was in Australia, France & NZ). So presumably there was no sales base to start from. If 100 streams = 1 sale and Silver Status represents selling 200,000 songs, does that mean that Champagne Supernova has been streamed 20,000,000 times since 1st January? That can't be right.
However they work it out though, it's always good to see some recognition being given to a song that has become a classic.