Streaming-Only Music is Now Eligible for the Grammys

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The Grammys have made a few changes to next year’s awards, including allowing streaming-only music to be nominated. Before, only albums and singles that were available for purchase were considered. Albums and singles released from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 and streamed on “paid subscription, full catalogue, on-demand/limited download platforms” are now being considered, meaning SoundCloud mixtapes cannot be nominated, according to a statement from the Grammys.

In May, Chance the Rapper released Coloring Book, which was available only through Apple Music and placed on the Billboard 200. In February, Kanye West similarly released The Life of Pablo, an album that was initially only available for streaming through Tidal.

The Grammys  have also limited voters to voting in 15 non-general categories (previously, the limit was 20). These categories do not include the Album of the Year, the Song of the Year, the Record of the Year and the Best New Artist awards.

Eligibility for Best New Artist has been loosened, ending the requirement to release an album within a certain timeframe. To be considered, an artist must release at least five songs (or one album), but no more than 30 songs (or three albums). The performer also would not be eligible if nominated for Best New Artist over three times.

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration has been changed to Best Rap/Sung Performance, which allows solo performers who both rap and sing, such as Drake, to also be considered. The Best Blues Album award will also be split into two categories: Best Traditional Blues Album and Best Contemporary Blues Album.

The Grammys  are set for Feb. 12 in Los Angeles. Nominations will be announced Dec. 6.

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