The Recording Academy just declared that streaming-only releases will now be eligible for Grammy nominations. The ruling will be effective immediately so that proper selections can be made for the 59th annual Grammy Awards to be held on Feb. 12, 2017. For any new music to be considered under the new guidelines, they must fall into the general distribution qualification — this means that the song or album should have been released to at least one of the major streaming services — Spotify, Apple Music, TIDAL or Google Play. Projects only available at Pandora or SoundCloud Go would not be eligible, as well any works released strictly on YouTube. In addition, mixtapes found on free sites such as DatPiff or LiveMixtapes will not be considered.
The news comes just in time as artists like Chance the Rapper have recently been challenging the Academy to really consider streaming music. The timing is also appropriate for the artist since his album Coloring Book just became the first streaming-exclusive project to chart on the Billboard 200 in May. The release also compiled 57.3 million first-week streams before it was eventually released to Spotify, TIDAL and other platforms. With all its accomplishments, Chance and his Coloring Book project will be eligible for Grammy consideration under the new rules.
Recording Academy SVP of Awards Bill Freimuth says, “The process for the changes is one of the elements of the overall process of which I’m proudest, because it keeps us as current and as relevant as we can and it keeps the process dynamic. We’re happy about that and we’re glad to make changes every year.”
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