Chart rules governing digital downloads are set to change in the new year.
From January 1 all digital singles will be eligible for the Official UK Combined Singles Chart from the moment they are made available for purchase.
Downloads will also no longer require a related physical format to be released to count for the chart.
The move represents a significant change to the current rules which state that downloaded singles can only count towards the chart one week prior to the track’s physical release.
Under the new rules all digital tracks will also be eligible for a chart position regardless of whether they are intended as singles or not.
As a result even album tracks made available as single track downloads will count.
Elsewhere Maxi singles, which are up to 25 minutes long, featuring four tracks plus remixes, will be chart eligible compared with the current 20-minute allocation and maximum total of three tracks allowed.