Since you’re reading a music blog, you’ve probably got a pretty good understanding of how the internet is changing the music industry. More than ever, artists can build their own buzz without massive tours or deep pockets. Stories of success used to start with: “It was at a local bar, and there were only 10 people in the audience.” Now they start with: “My YouTube account got 100,000 hits in one week!” Billboard has traditionally made their charts using numbers related to radio play and sales, but today they introduced the “Social 50 Chart”, which will use weekly data from social networking sites to rank artists. Now, all it takes is one viral week to get on Billboard.
Serving as a complement to Billboard’s existing weekly rankings, the Social 50 chart will tally artists’ popularity using a formula blending weekly additions of friends/fans/followers along with weekly artist page views and weekly song plays on MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and iLike. Data from these sites is gathered and provided to Billboard by social music tracking service Next Big Sound.
Hit the jump to read the full press release…
BILLBOARD DEBUTS NEW “SOCIAL 50” CHART
TO TRACK MOST ACTIVE ARTISTS ON
THE WORLD’S LEADING SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES
New Chart Joins Billboard’s Growing Menu of Popular Rankings
-Rihanna Tops the Chart in its Debut Week –
NEW YORK (December 2, 2010) —Billboard announced today that it is expanding its suite of chart
offerings to include a new chart, the Social 50, presented by ZYNC from American Express, which
ranks the most active artists on the world’s leading social networking sites. Rihanna becomes the ‘only
girl in the world’ to top the Social 50 chart in its debut week, followed by Justin Bieber, Eminem,
Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj, respectively, to round out the top five. The full chart is available at
Serving as a complement to Billboard’s existing weekly rankings, the Social 50 chart will tally artists’
popularity using a formula blending weekly additions of friends/fans/followers along with weekly artist
page views and weekly song plays on MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and iLike. Data from these
sites is gathered and provided to Billboard by social music tracking service Next Big Sound.
The Social 50 emphasizes friends/fans behavior above other activities, followed by artist page views
and song plays. The final ranking also includes a unique metric measuring the ratio of page views to
“The Social 50 provides a weekly snapshot of the artists that music fans engage with the most
in the social arena, which in today’s world is a significant validation of their investment in an act,” says
Billboard Chart Director, Silvio Pietroluongo.
“We continue to adapt the way we chart the changing landscape of music,” says Billboard Editorial
Director, Bill Werde. “The Social 50 is yet another step in the evolution of Billboard and an important
response to our changing times.”
“The volume of online activity that top artists now receive is too big to ignore,” says Next Big Sound
CEO, Alex White. “We are thrilled that social music activity now receives the same emphasis as the
music charts for which Billboard is synonymous.”
The Social 50 will appear alongside other popular charts on Billboard.com and Billboard.biz every
Thursday, and in Billboard magazine every week.
Now in its 116th year, Billboard is the world’s premier music brand consisting of Billboard magazine,
Billboard Events and Billboard.com—the online destination of choice for millions of music fans. The
Billboard brand is built on its exclusive charts and unrivaled reporting on the latest news, issues and
trends across all genres of music. The brand reaches tens of millions of consumers daily through many
strategic relationships with major companies including Reuters, SanDisk, Telemundo, Ticketmaster,
Microsoft Zune, Napster, MTV, GTech, Virgin Mobile, AT&T, Sony Music Entertainment and Amazon.
These relationships leverage Billboard’s brand recognition, proprietary chart data and information
resources to develop products, live events and print, television, radio, digital and mobile platforms.
Billboard is owned by Prometheus Global Media, a diversified company with leading assets in the
media and entertainment arenas, including: Music (Billboard and its related conferences and events,
including The Billboard Latin Music Awards), Entertainment (The Hollywood Reporter, Backstage,
ShoWest, ShowEast, Cineasia, and Cinema Expo International); and Advertising & Marketing (Adweek,
Mediaweek, Brandweek, Adweek Conferences and The CLIO Awards).
Next Big Sound, a leading provider of online music analytics and insights, tracks hundreds of thousands
of artists across all the major web properties (YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Last.fm
etc.). Nextbigsound.com launched in August of 2009 letting anyone search and compare online music
data for any artist in the world and sign up for free weekly email reports. This sparked thousands of
conversations throughout the music industry and the result is Next Big Sound Premier, the most powerful
music analytics platform on the market. For the first time ever professionals in the music industry can
see social media data, traffic to an artists .com traditional sales and radio numbers and P2P data all in one
centralized dashboard. Combined with actionable recommendations and advanced geographic data the
platform is presented in a way that decision makers in the industry can understand how best to use their