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Proms director hits back at dumbing down claims

Proms director Roger Wright has defended this year's event after it was accused of "dumbing down".

Paloma Faith will be performing with an orchestra, while Rufus Wainwright and the Pet Shop Boys will also take to the stage during the classical music event.

Concerts aimed at viewers of pre-school channel CBeebies and performances of sporting themes such as Horse Of The Year Show and Match Of The Day also feature in this year's Proms season.

Wright told Radio Times magazine that he hoped names like Faith and the Pet Shop Boys will draw new audiences to classical music.

"These acts have the potential to draw new audiences into the Albert Hall to listen to orchestras and sample an element of the Proms. The hope is then that they'll come back to hear more," he added.

Ariana Grande first to top Britain's streaming chart

Ariana Grande scored her first number one with her hit Problem featuring Iggy Azalea.
Ariana Grande scored her first number one with her hit Problem featuring Iggy Azalea. Credit: PA

US singer Ariana Grande has made British chart history by becoming the first number one single based on sales and streaming.

The 21-year-old's hit Problem featuring rapper Iggy Azalea was streamed 712,000 times. Grande also pulled in 106,000 sales, the Official Charts Company said.

It is the first time songs played on streaming services like Spotify, Deezer, Napster, O2 Tracks, Xbox Music and Sony's Music Unlimited have counted towards the chart rankings alongside physical and digital sales, the Official Charts Company said.

Of her debut number one, Grande said: "I'm so happy. Yay."

New chart count sees Ariana Grande way out in front

Earlier this week Official Charts Company said.said US singer Ariana Grande was way out in front to top the singles chart with Problem featuring Iggy Azalea selling more than double her nearest rival Ella Henderson.

New chart count sees Ariana Grande way out in front. Credit: Dennis Van Tine/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

By Tuesday Grande's song clocked up around 55,000 sales - with 1% of those from streaming, while Henderson's track Ghost had 21,000 sales, 8% of which were from streaming. George Ezra's Budapest was on course to rise to number three following his performance at last weekend's Glastonbury festival.

Meanwhile Ed Sheeran's Sing - expected to be number four - was predicted to be the most streamed track of the week with 13% of his sales accounted for through online listening, also possibly given a boost by his appearance at Glastonbury.

Other acts to have benefited from performing at the festival include country star Dolly Parton whose 1973 single Jolene is on course to make the top 40.

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Official singles chart to include streaming for first time

The official singles chart will see online streaming from services such as Spotify and Deezer included for the first time.

The move to include streamed songs alongside downloads and physical sales follows a massive surge of interest in audio streams over the last 12 months, the Official Charts Company said.

Official singles chart to include streaming for first time. Credit: PA

Music fans have gone from streaming 100 million tracks a week at the beginning of last year to 200 million a week in January, while this has risen to between 250 and 260 million in the past month.

Listeners will need to have streamed a song for a minimum of 30 seconds for it to count, with 100 streams of a song counting as one sale.

Bastille: Charts should reflect how people digest music

Brit Award-winning band Bastille's song Pompeii has been streamed more than any other track in the UK, with more than 26 million plays.

Asked about the news music streaming will be included in the Official Singles Chart, Bastille frontman Dan Smith said, "I think for the charts to be fair it has to reflect how people digest music."

Read: Music streaming to be included in UK singles chart

'Time is now right' to add streaming to UK singles chart

The Official Charts Company said "the time is now right" to add music streaming to the UK singles chart for the first time.

Chief executive Martin Talbot said:

Audio streaming has grown at an extraordinary rate over the past year - and the time is now right to take this important step.

Just as it [the Official Singles Chart] has evolved through the years to reflect the most popular music in the UK, from 10-inch to seven-inch, vinyl to cassingles, CD singles to downloads, this is the latest stage of that progression.

Read: Music streaming to be included in UK singles chart

Music streaming to be included in UK singles chart

Music streaming on services such as Spotify and Napster will be included in the UK singles chart from July 6.

Spotify logo
Spotify, Napster and Deezer are among those music streaming services included in the deal. Credit: Britta Pedersen/DPA/Press Association Images

The Official Charts Company will weight the streaming so that 100 plays amount to one physical sale to differentiate between buying one specific track and merely choosing to play it as part of a general service.

So far this year, the average weekly figures volume of streaming is 70 times greater than the combined sales of downloads and physical singles.

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