5 Things You Need To Know About Rolling Stone’s New Music Charts


Tue, May, 7 by

In less than one week Rolling Stone will start its own set of music charts to compete against Billboard, according to a Vanity Fair report this morning. The announcement was made this morning at the Music Biz Conference in Nashville.

This is turf that Billboard has pretty much monopolized for nearly 80 years. It’ll be interesting to see how Rolling Stone will change everything. Here, we answer five questions you may have about the new chart on the block.


What charts will Rolling Stone have?

Rolling Stone will offer five charts starting Monday May 13. The two main charts will be the Top 100 Singles and the Top 200 Slbums. The three other charts are Rolling Stone Artist 500, Rolling Stone Trending 25, and Rolling Stone Breakthrough 25. The Top 100 Singles chart will be updated daily, while the other four will be updated weekly.


How will Rolling Stone’s charts work?

There aren’t a lot of details about exactly what Rolling Stone will measure for these charts—yet. Vanity Fair reports that the magazine will be completely transparent on their methods of measurement. But there is a little of information available right now. The singles chart will rank the most listened to songs, while the albums chart will look at physical and digital sales, song sales, and audio and video streams.

The Artist 500 chart will rank the most streamed artists, Trending 25 will rank the fastest growing songs, and Breakthrough 25 will rank artists who have charted for the first time.


How do Rolling Stone’s charts differ from Billboard’s charts?

For starters, Rolling Stone’s charts will get its data from BuzzAngle Music which will be renamed Alpha Data on Monday. Billboard gets its data from Nielsen Music. Secondly, although we have little information about what Rolling Stone will measure, we know that Billboard looks at radio airplay and social media interactions in addition to streaming and sales. Billboard also announced that it is launching a Global 100 chart, ranking songs based on worldwide streams and sales, not just North America. Then there’s also the fact that Rolling Stone’s Top 100 charts will be daily and not weekly.


Why is Rolling Stone doing this now?

According to a report from Billboard: “Part of the reason to get into the data space, we saw an opportunity to pair these brands” Rolling Stone and BuzzAngle, Penske Media’s head of portfolio sales Stephen Blackwell said. “We want to share as much content as we can,” with readers and the industry.”

Penske Media, which owns Rolling Stone, has a stake in the data company Alpaha Data that they’ll be using on their charts.


What are people saying about this?

People have been tweeting their thoughts on this new move. Some have made jokes, some praise the new competition, others say this highlights issues about the Billboard charts, and some are skeptical. Here are some of the tweets: