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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Rolling Stone deciding to make their own charts seeing OTR number 1 on the billboard charts pic.twitter.com/mzvCGiYugf
— 🌴Sparky🌴 (@sparks_smxth) May 7, 2019
More is great! Competition is always a good thing! Good luck!! https://t.co/7YYQr8zvXw
— Perez (@ThePerezHilton) May 7, 2019
— Chris K Davis ヽ(⌐■_■)ノ♪♬ (@chriskdavis) May 7, 2019
Mixed feelings about @RollingStone new music chart launching. Agree @billboard chart system is questionable. The metrics currently available/used are seriously flawed at their foundation. RS’s may be more transparent but will they be any more meaningful? 🙃🤔
— Music Junkie Chick (@musicjunkiechic) May 7, 2019
this is going to give so many smaller artists in a viral generation a lot more visibility and increase their chance at visibility. we need more competition amongst music charts for a more transparent look at the music industry and what people are listening to. love this concept
— the b in lgbt is for blake (@bpdnaiman) May 7, 2019
i’m so weirdly excited about the rolling stone charts. billboard has the monopoly on the charts for the longest time and as such, rules have been very arbitrary.
if anything, it’s always good to have another reference to compare data, more so if it offers to be more transparent
— belle (@alikelyst0ry) May 7, 2019
The whole industry when Rolling Stone announced their new music charts: pic.twitter.com/XPh3suX6Cf
— ally (@milastrivia) May 7, 2019