Starting May 13, Billboard will have a legitimate competitor to their iconic music charts. Rolling Stone has announced that they will be launching their own charts that will measure the top 200 albums and top 100 singles. According to Vanity Fair, the upcoming charts will be taking a different route compared to Billboard’s. They “will be updated daily as opposed to weekly, they will go deeper on streaming data, and they will be completely transparent about their measurement methodologies.” This is the first real threat that Billboard has to its chart services since it first took form in the 1950s and it doesn’t help that Billboard is under the microscope given the recent controversy with the removal of the viral song, “Old Town Road,” from its Hot Country Songs chart.
While Billboard has been calculating its rankings with Nielsen SoundScan since 1991, Rolling Stone will be employing the new analytics start-up Alpha Data. The start-up will help Rolling Stone measure digital and physical sales as well as streaming totals. This move from the media giant is the brain child of Jay Penske, the CEO of Penske Media Corporation that took control of Rolling Stone two years ago.
“Rolling Stone is the most widely recognized brand in the music space,” Penske said in a statement to Vanity Fair, “and we think it should be used in other ways to help people discover music.” Penske’s Rolling Stone will also debut “the Rolling Stone Artist 500,” which calculates the most streamed artists and “the Rolling Stone Trending 25,” which will determine the quickest rising songs and their measurements for hot new artists.