Following in the footsteps of Billboard, Spotify is now publishing a top-50 list of the most streamed and most shared tunes through the service. The lists are being made available as widgets for website owners to embed on their site. Fans can listen to the top tracks free of charge without having to sign up or register for Spotify.

Spotify is no doubt hoping the move will help bring in additional members at a time when the streaming music scene is really heating up. At present, Spotify has 24 million active members although only six million are paid subscribers. For comparison, Internet radio outlet Pandora has more than 200 million registered users and 60 million active members.

As we understand it, the charts will automatically update each Monday around noon EST. Charts from past weeks will still remain available for review although it's unclear if users will be able to stream from them.

The company is also planning to release play-count data, which is the total number of plays per track. This global data will date back to October 2008 and should give artists a clear picture of how well their music is doing through the service. As the head of Spotify's US operations noted, data is their secret sauce.

Earlier this month the Recording Industry Association of America expanded their gold and platinum certification programs to include music streamed over the Internet and as mentioned in the intro, Billboard is now also charting streaming music for the first time.