Rolling Stone Launches Its Auto-Populating Music Charts — But Can It Beat Billboard?

Rolling Stone, the iconic music magazine, has announced its entry into the music charts business, taking aim at the longstanding incumbent, Billboard. Rolling Stone plans to launch its own homegrown music charts, which will offer real-time information and split-second chart results. The magazine has been published monthly since 1967 and has long traversed music, film, television, politics, and pop culture. With this new venture, Rolling Stone aims to take on Billboard’s charts and album/song rankings, which have long been used by the majority of music professionals, reporters, and fans.

One of the main reasons behind Rolling Stone’s decision to enter the music charts arena is the increasing ire from artists and executives alike over Billboard’s seemingly arbitrary and shifting rules. Rolling Stone hopes to exploit this opportunity and provide an alternative that is more transparent, fair, and up-to-date. The interactive charts will be published on Rolling Stone’s website and will be curated by Alpha Data (formerly BuzzAngle), which will be positioned against Billboard’s stats partner Nielsen Music.

Rolling Stone’s charts will offer instantaneous access and constant updating of charts for artists, albums, and songs. The charts will be updated daily, and several chart types will be published weekly, including The Rolling Stone Top 100 Songs, Top 200 Albums, Artists 500, Breakthrough 25, and Trending 25. The Trending 25 will track relative popularity increases in songs that are less than 12 months old.

The actual processes behind Rolling Stone’s charts can be viewed on the magazine’s site, and questions and comments can be forwarded to a full-time RS Chart team. This suggests that Rolling Stone is taking the endeavor seriously, both in terms of planning and allocated resources. However, it remains to be seen how many individuals will be interested in the charts, especially given that Billboard enjoys immense branding, with more than 100 years of history making it a default chart reference.

The “rolling out” of the charts was previously delayed by about two months, with rumors pointing to serious problems getting approvals to use data feeds from major DSPs like Apple Music. Disagreements over rankings between paid and non-paid streams may have also caused the delays, with labels potentially unhappy with free-stream weightings. However, Rolling Stone seems to have resolved these issues and is now ready to launch its charts.

Rolling Stone Charts is undoubtedly ambitious, and the venture is expected to face several challenges. Billboard’s methodology of converting streams into albums has been heavily criticized, though its math has also been mirrored across endless markets worldwide. Moreover, Billboard enjoys immense branding, with more than 100 years of history making it a default chart reference. Whether Rolling Stone, which is rarely associated with charts, can seriously challenge that remains to be seen.

In conclusion, Rolling Stone’s entry into the music charts business is an exciting development for the music industry. The magazine’s charts will offer an alternative to Billboard’s rankings, which have been criticized for their arbitrary and shifting rules. Rolling Stone’s charts will be transparent, fair, and up-to-date, offering instantaneous access and constant updating of charts for artists, albums, and songs. However, it remains to be seen whether Rolling Stone can seriously challenge Billboard’s dominance, given its immense branding and more than 100 years of history.

2 Responses

  1. Fingers Crossed

    This May Actually Help Independents Start To Chart…

    Hopefully

    We Don’t Receive Data For Months And Months And When We Do They Say One Penny For One Play…That’s across the board

  2. what?

    “Rolling Stone, which is rarely associated with charts”
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