Top 40 to include streamed music

The Top 40 will soon include music that is streamed online, the Official UK Charts Company has revealed.

The rise in popularity of services such as Spotify, We7 and the older Last.fm, as well as subscription-based models like Nokia's Comes with Music, that lets users stream music for free, or download unlimited tracks, means these listener figures will one day be incorporated into the official Top 40.

The BBC reports that the Official UK Charts Company said "it was 'bound to' include streaming and subscription services at some point, but not for at least another year".

Official Charts Company managing director Martin Talbot told the BBC that the streaming services will make the charts, "increasingly more complicated", as the organisation debates over whether such tracks should carry equal weight with ones that people have paid full price to download.

Streams and subscription downloads will be integrated when they become "a very big part of the way people consume music going forward", Talbot said.