One of the most important facts regardless of what platform you use:  DO NOT LOOP THE SONG!


Top Billboard Charts that include streamed music:

  • Billboard 200 Albums
    • Billboard combines pure sales, TEA (track equivalent album) and SEA (streaming equivalent album) to calculate the ranking.
  • Hot 100 Songs
  • Artist 100
  • Social 50
  • Streaming Songs

What type of account counts more for music charts?

  • SEA: Paid streaming accounts carry more weight when it comes to Billboard charts.
    • Paid: 1 album unit –> 1,250 streams
    • Free (ad-supported): 1 album unit –> 3,750 streams
    • Video Streams: 1 album unit –> 3,750 streams
  • TEA:
    • 1 album unit –> 10 digital tracks

Streaming platforms to use:

  • Apple Music
  • Spotify
  • Tidal
  • Amazon Music
  • YouTube

What type of accounts count more for RIAA Certifications?

  • 1 Track Sale –> 150 Streams
  • 10 Track Sales –> 1500 streams
  • 1 album unit –> 10 track sales

RIAA Certifications

Gold — 500,000 units
Platinum — 1,000,000 units
Multi-Platinum — 2,000,000 units+
Diamond — 10,000,000 units +

Apple Music & Spotify Tips:

  • Do not mute the volume. Hook up headphones (and don’t put them on) or turn the volume down very low, but not on mute.
  • Don’t use a VPN. The streams will not count.
  • Use as many devices as your plan will allow (phone, tablet, computer, TV, etc.)
  • 30 Seconds Rule: You must listen to a track at least 30 seconds.
  • Repeat/Loops:
    • No concrete evidence, but create a playlist with the album added to the playlist several times. Add a few other artist in between songs randomly in the playlist
  • For those that buy the song from iTunes also, make sure you are playing the Apple Music version or the streaming will not count.


  • Buy the song and album. Sales = charts.
  • Do not gift the song to people because it will not count. Give them a gift card and have them buy the song themselves.
  • When buying a whole album, buy the tracks individually. Do not hit “complete my album.”

Amazon Music

  • If you bought the song from the Amazon Digital Store, it counts as a purchase, not stream.


  • Play the song/video from the boys’ official channel or VEVO channel.
  • Use multiple devices to stream.
  • Log out of your account.
  • Do not mute.
  • You can play the same music video 5 or 6 times in an hour.
  • Make sure to watch 2-3 music videos of other songs after playing the video.
  • You must wait 6-10 mins before playing the music video again.
  • Do not refresh the page or replay the video in a loop.
  • Do not add music videos to a playlist as it will only count once with both free and premium accounts.
  • Make sure the video quality is set to 480P or above.
  • Like the video and comment. Do not copy comments.
  • Switch the song every so often, along with the tabs you are playing it in so that YouTube will not think you’re a robot.
  • Playing music through YouTube Music is the same as you would through Apple Music, Spotify, etc. It counts as audio streams. 


Tips compiled from:,,,