New rules for Oscars’ Best Original Song category

This year the award was won by 'Flight of the Conchords' man Bret McKenzie for his 'Muppets' track

A new set of rules have been put in place for the Academy Awards’ Best Original Song category, stating that there must be five nominees up for the award every year.

Over the past few years, a complex voting system, in which songs on the longlist have to receive at least 8.25 marks out of 10, has meant that only a small number of tracks have made it into the final category.

This year, only ‘Man or Muppet’ from The Muppets and ‘Real in Rio’ from Rio made the final category. The award was won by Bret McKenzie – pictured above – of Flight of the Conchords, for the Muppets track.

Now, reports Billboard, a more straightforward voting system will see the five highest scoring tracks from the longlist make up the nominees in the final category.

However, if there are fewer than 25 songs on the longlist, the final category will limited to three nominees and if there are only nine songs on the longlist, it is possible that no award will be given at all for that year.

This year there were 39 artists and songs on the longlist, including The National, Elton John, Lady Gaga and Robbie Williams.