Billboard, Nielsen Announce New ‘On-Demand Songs’ Chart

By Jay Casteel (@JayCasteel)   /   Published 03/14/12

logo - BillboardBillboard, Nielsen and NARM's DigitalMusic.org announced Wednesday (March 14) the launch of the first-ever subscription services "On-Demand Songs" chart, which will also enhance the formula used to rank Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart.

This new Billboard chart, in coordination with DigitalMusic.org's Subscription Music Work Group, and powered by Nielsen BDS, which began tracking streaming activity in 2005, measures every on-demand play request and plays from unlimited listener-controlled radio channels on MOG, Muve Music, Rdio, Rhapsody, Slacker and Spotify.

The plays tracked for the On-Demand Songs chart include streams and tethered downloads by both paying and free/trial tier users. Through the first 70 days of 2012, Nielsen BDS has captured more than 4.5. billion audio streams.

"Billboard always recognizes trends in the way fans experience music," said Bill Werde, Billboard's editorial director. "With some of these services growing exponentially and integrating into the social web, the time is right to launch a streaming chart and to incorporate this activity into the Hot 100."

"The new Billboard chart is the definitive endorsement of the importance of the music subscription market and, as Nielsen continues to track tremendous growth, its influence can only become more important in the future," added Bill Wilson, VP of Business Development and Digital Strategy, NARM/digitalmusic.org.

The Billboard charts are the most authoritative measure of success in music, and the addition of streaming data to the Hot 100 formula coupled with the launch of the On-Demand Songs chart reflect the current state of the industry. The number and types of outlets that people utilize to consume music continues to grow, and due to the rise of so many user-based platforms, the impact consumers have also continues to increase. Never in the 50-plus year history of the Hot 100 has a music fan had more of an influence on the chart's rankings as they do today.

The first-ever #1 atop On-Demand Songs belongs to fun. and its anthemic hit, "We Are Young" featuring Janelle Monae, with a total of 1.1 million streams, according to Nielsen BDS. The track also tops the re-formatted Billboard Hot 100 for a second consecutive week.

The rest of the On-Demand Songs top five are as follows: "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye featuring Kimbra; "Rack City" by Tyga; "N****s In Paris" by Jay-Z & Kanye West; and "Take Care" by Drake featuring Rihanna.

Each of those songs posts a better ranking on this week's Hot 100 than it would have had the chart not undergone this week's addition of greater streaming data. For instance, Gotye's track ranks at No. 5 on the Hot 100, instead of No. 8, while the Drake/Rihanna collaboration re-enters the top 10 at a new peak of No. 7; it would have remained outside the top 10 under the old formula.

The updated Hot 100 and the new On-Demand Songs chart will be available on Billboard.com and Billboard.biz Thursday morning (March 15) and will be featured in the March 24 issue of Billboard magazine, which hits newsstands on March 16.

The On-Demand Songs chart will also be featured each week on DigitalMusic.org.

Tags: