Billboard Introduces New Chart Methodology

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• October 11, 2012

Billboard has revealed a new methodology for a handful of its charts, including Hot Country Songs, that will give a “major consumer-influenced facelift” to its measurement tools. Other charts undergoing the change include Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Latin Songs.

Since the advent of BDS in 1990, Hot Country Songs ranked titles entirely monitored airplay data. Going forward, the chart will incorporate digital download sales (measured by Nielsen SoundScan) and streaming data (measured by Nielsen from Spotify, Muve, Slacker, Rhapsody, Rdio and Xbox Music) along with the BDS monitored airplay measurement. The new chart will also incorporate data from over 1200 stations of all genres for songs receiving crossover airplay.

“The way people consume music continues to evolve and as a result so do our genre charts, which now track the many new ways fans experience, listen to and buy music,” says Silvio Pietroluongo, Billboard Director of Charts. “We’re proud to be offering updated genre charts that better reflect the current music landscape.”

Factoring in these new metrics will likely mean some big changes, week-to-week. And indeed, Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” reaps the immediate benefits of dominating both the streaming and download worlds and lands at No. 1 on the new chart. Interestingly, “Never Ever” sits at No. 36 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, which will measure only BDS airplay and continue to appear on Mondays.

The change also coincides with the launch of a second weekly Billboard Country Update product, which will be distributed on Thursdays.

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