The Recording Academy has shifted its rules to include streaming-only projects as eligible for Grammy consideration. For the next ballot, recordings must be available to the public as stand-alone purchases or streams between Oct. 1, 2015 and Sept. 30, 2016.
The Recording Academy previously considered general distribution to be “sales by label to a branch or recognized independent distributor, via the internet, or mail order/retail sales for a nationally marketed product.” However the news guidelines include streaming services, which are “paid subscription, full catalogue, on-demand streaming/limited download platforms that have existed as such within the United States for at least one full year as of the submission deadline.”
This would include Spotify (paid tiers), Apple Music, Tidal, Google Play, etc., while product released only to Pandora, which has no on-demand service, would not qualify.
The change was one of five changes outlined for next year’s Grammy Awards, which will be held Feb. 12.