Billboard has licensed its chart archives to online music service pressplay. Under the deal, the subscription service will feature Billboard charts in 11 categories, dating back to 1955. It's the firs

Billboard has licensed its chart archives to online music service pressplay. Under the deal, the subscription service will feature Billboard charts in 11 categories, dating back to 1955. It's the first time Billboard has licensed its archival charts for use online.

"Bringing Billboard's preeminent chart data to the pressplay service greatly enhances the music experience of our subscribers by giving them unprecedented access to historical music information from the last five decades," said pressplay President/CEO Andy Schuon. "By connecting pressplay's vast catalog of music with Billboard's charts, pressplay subscribers will be able to instantly match the most meaningful moments of their lives with the most popular music of the time."

Pressplay -- a joint venture between Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group -- is expected to debut by the end of the year. With music from the libraries of Sony, Universal, and EMI Recorded Music, as well as a number of independent labels, the service will allow subscribers to stream and download music through affiliates including MP3.com, MSN, and Yahoo!

"Billboard's charts of sales and radio airplay have been the definitive measure of musical popularity since the launch of the Hot 100 singles chart in 1955," says Ken Schlager, Vice President of Business Development for Billboard Music Group. "Now that there are legitimate services for digital distribution of major-label repertoire, we are pleased to be able to offer consumers the use of this unparalleled resource as a roadmap to the musical past."

The 11 charts that Billboard has licensed to pressplay are The Billboard 200, the Billboard Hot 100, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, Top Country Albums, Top Country Singles & Tracks, Top Canadian Albums, Top Canadian Singles, Top Jazz Albums, Hot Rap Singles, and Modern Rock Tracks.

In addition to the Billboard music charts, pressplay's service will also feature extensive artist and album information, including discographies and artist biographies from All Music Guide.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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