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Billboard to include streaming stats in Hot 100

By | Published on Thursday 15 March 2012


First Germany gets Spotify, then Billboard adds streaming stats into its flagship singles chart. Come on early adopters, it’s time you all stopped participating in this old news streaming music party. Get with the moment, what’s new guys, what’s the big new digital phenomenon? I’ve not been paying as close attention to this year’s SxSW as perhaps I should, but am I right in saying every cool kid now has a homeless person in the corner of their bedroom humming the latest hits?

Anyway, Billboard has confirmed it will now add streaming service stats into its main songs chart, which already takes radio airplay into account as well as record sales (so like Kid Jenson’s Network Chart sponsored by Nescafe does over here – or whatever that chart’s called these days, the Capital Radio Shit Chart?). Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, Slacker, Muve and MOG will all provide listening stats for the revamped Billboard Hot 100, while talks are also underway with Google about somehow putting YouTube figures into the mix.

Says Billboard’s big bod Bill Werde: “It’s so important that we are vigilant in recognising a changing marketplace almost constantly these days. When you look at these streaming subscription services, even in the last year, you really see how they have come of age and I just think the time is now to do this”.

Billboard insiders have been reviewing what the new data would have done to recent charts, and it seems there won’t be any radical change to the tracks that appear in the countdown by including streaming data into the mix, though some songs might move up or down a few places as a result.

Dance music could be the biggest winner, as a genre that’s gained a substantial following in the US of late, but which gets relatively little radio play and whose fans don’t buy music so much via chart returning download stores. Dubstep isn’t going to suddenly dominate the top ten, but might be more likely to make it into the lower echelons of the chart than they previously would.

Though that just means more exposure for Skrillex. Perhaps Billboard could go back to just counting the sales of vinyl records.