JUNO Awards Head on Sales Components, Streaming

There have been some new categories in recent years — adult alternative album and metal/hard music album — so you do adjust when necessary. With the rock album category, because there’s a sales component, some managers/labels prefer to submit their act into a different category because they don’t feel that stand a chance against the Nickelbacks and Billy Talents. Has getting rid of the sales component been discussed?

Allan Reid, President/CEO, The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS): Yeah. Kim Cooke and Warren Stewart chair the nominating and voting committee, along with Laura Bryan and the team here, and every single year they look at every category — how do we need to adapt and how do we need to change? As well as the sales component, streaming is a big conversation right now. How do we start bringing streaming data into our calculations? How do we get that data first and foremost? How is it provided for not just the major labels but for indie artists? We didn’t have a year’s worth of data to bring into it this year [Nielsen only started tracking Canadian streaming providers last July]. So we had to go, you know what, streaming, we’ll look at some of it but we can’t make it the key component yet.

Ultimately, could you get rid of the album category because artists are releasing singles and EPs, and maybe go with track equivalents?

I don’t know that we would get rid of it entirely. Album sales are still fairly significant. In many categories, we do use album sales and track sales as part of that voting process. And we also use Next Big Sound, which brings us a lot of data from the social side for some of the categories as well. I was talking to Kim about it the other day; every year you think you’ve got it all buttoned down and then something new pops up, and it makes you go, ‘We gotta go back and take a look at this and tweak our eligibility, what our criteria is.’ We represent the industry and if the industry changes, we need to be kept in tune with what those changes are, and how things are happening. Obviously as physical sales decline, and streaming comes in, that is something we need to take into account, and we try to figure out how.

Via Billboard