Downloads Power Hot 100, New Pop 100

Charts integrate digital sales.

The Hot 100 is getting hotter with the addition of download data, and a new chart will measure the power of pop.

The Billboard Hot 100, long the industry standard for song popularity, will now reflect sales of paid downloads, as well as retail sales and radio airplay in all formats. The download data will be the same information provided by Nielsen SoundScan for the weekly Hot Digital Songs chart.

At the same time, Billboard will offer a new view of songs' popularity with the launch of the Pop 100. Concurrently, the Hot Digital Songs chart is being expanded from 50 titles to 75.

Like the Hot 100, the new Pop 100 rates songs by mingling audience impressions calculated by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems with sales of digital tracks and physical singles. But the Pop 100's radio panel will be confined to mainstream top 40 stations.

"We have eagerly anticipated the moment when we could begin to integrate digital sales into the Hot 100, and it makes utter sense to factor that data into the new Pop 100, too," says Geoff Mayfield, Billboard director of charts. "It has been a priority for labels, and even some music fans, that we derive more utility from digital sales data, but could not merge those numbers with other sources until Nielsen SoundScan could efficiently consolidate the sales of a song's various digital versions. The recent launch of the Hot Digital Songs chart accomplished that goal."

"We are absolutely thrilled that the advent of digital downloads brings a viable sales component back to The Billboard Hot 100," says Hot 100 chart manager Silvio Pietroluongo, who will also oversee the Pop 100. "Radio stations are programmed to reflect the wants of its listeners, but there is no substitute to measure a song's true popularity than the purchase by a consumer," he says. "The combination of accurate airplay data with a strong sales base further secures the Hot 100's place as the definitive U.S. singles chart."


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