The Grammy Awards recently announced major rule changes that can give Christian artists a bigger shot at winning some yearly awards.

The award’s show is now allowing streaming only titles to be eligible for awards. In the past, music had to be available for purchase, and not available for free.

“Works must be released via general distribution, defined as the nationwide release of a recording via brick and mortar, third-party online retailers, and/or applicable digital streaming services,” the press release reads. “Applicable streaming services are paid subscription, full catalogue, on-demand streaming/limited download platforms that have existed as such within the United States for at least one full year as of the submission deadline.”

Music that has been released between October 1, 2015, and September 30, 2016, will qualify for the 59th Grammy Awards in February of 2017.

Chance the Rapper is a mainstream artist who can now be nominated for a Grammy, as all his projects are free. In the Christian music world, an artist such as Lecrae may be able to crack a list if streams count. In the past, his Church Clothes and Church Clothes 2 mixtapes were free. If he were to release another free tape that gained enough attention through streams, perhaps he, or artists such as Andy Mineo or NF, could take home a Grammy one year.

The addition of streams to the Grammy categories is no doubt due in part to a certain number of streams counting as record sales on music charts. It was only a matter of time before rules had to be amended for the huge majority of music fans that get their music through stream services.

What do you think of the news? Does having streamed music count for Grammy’s open the playing field more for Christian hip-hop?