New Rules for 2017 GRAMMYs

The Recording Academy announced new voting and eligibility regulations Thursday.

Stream-only records are now eligible for Grammy nominations. Prior to the revision, only albums that were commercially available—that is, available for purchase from a physical store or online market such as iTunes—were eligible to win music’s biggest award. Now, “commercial availability” includes paid subscription streaming platforms like Apple Music, Tidal and Spotify.

The Recording Academy also reduced the number of categories in which voters may cast a ballot from 20 to 15.

These changes come on the heels of Chance The Rapper’s latest project, Coloring Book. Originally released exclusively on Apple Music, the mixtape earned praise from fans and critics—many of whom thought its free status shouldn’t exclude it from a Grammy nomination.

The landscape of music—the way it’s made, the way it’s distributed and the way we consume it—is changing. While the recording industry as a whole has a long way to go before fully embracing that change, it’s nice to see the Grammys listen to music lovers and actively pursue solutions to new challenges.

The new rules are set to take effect immediately and will allow artists who released works between Oct. 1, 2015 and Sept. 30, 2016 to submit those projects to the Recording Academy for consideration.

For more updates on the GRAMMYs, visit their official website.

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BreeAngela Hamilton is a senior journalism major. She still burns mix-CDs for her car stereo on a desktop computer. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram (@breeelyse_).

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