Billboard Launches Comprehensive, Hot-100 Style List for Hottest Songs
The Billboard brand has delivered the world's most trusted and most widely quoted country music charts for nearly seven decades, and the exhaustive work we've done over the past couple of years to revolutionize our country singles charts is realized today as we launch the most comprehensive, immediate and accurate country singles rankings since our first one rolled off the presses during World War II.
From those first few country chart weeks in 1944 -- with dueling versions of "Pistol Packin' Mama" by Al Dexter & His Troopers and Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters 00 to the phenomenal consumer penetration that lifts Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" to No. 1 on the revised Hot Country Songs rankings today, the Billboard brand again pioneers a new era in country music chart-keeping.
Rihanna's "Diamonds" is the inaugural No. 1 on our new R&B Songs chart. Check It Out
CHART UPDATES: Now Using Hot 100 Methodology
CHART UPDATES: With Digital Download Sales/Streaming Data
"The way people consume music continues to evolve and as a result so do our charts, which now track the many new ways fans experience, listen to and buy music," says Silvio Pietroluongo, Billboard Director of Charts. "We're proud to be offering updated Country charts that better reflect the current music landscape."
Previously ranked solely by Nielsen BDS-provided radio airplay data since 1990, Country Songs (and several other major format charts) is given a major consumer-influenced face-lift, as digital download sales (tracked by Nielsen SoundScan) and streaming data (tracked by Nielsen BDS from such services as Spotify, Muve, Slacker, Rhapsody, Rdio and Xbox Music, among others) will now be factored into the 50-position rankings, along with existing radio airplay data monitored by Nielsen BDS.
The makeovers will enable these charts to match the methodology applied to Billboard's signature all-genre songs ranking, the Billboard Hot 100 -- including airplay from more than 1,200 stations of all genres monitored by BDS -- will reward crossover titles receiving airplay on multiple formats. With digital download sales and streaming data measuring popularity on the most inclusive scale possible, it makes perfectly logical sense that the radio portion of the new chart calculations include airplay from the entire spectrum of monitored formats.
The immediate beneficiary of this week's methodology change is Swift, who holds down the top two slots on Country Songs with the aforementioned "We Are Never"and the title track from her new "Red" album, due October 22 from Big Machine. The pop-crossover No. 1 title ranks at No. 36 on the Country Airplay tally (but also gets points associated with its pop-crossover play) and No. 2 on Country Digital Songs, while "Red" is absent from the Country Airplay list, but ranks No. 1 on Country Digital Songs. Swift ranks at No. 10 on Hot Country Songs with "Begin Again," which appears at No. 29 on Country Airplay and No. 3 on Country Digital Songs.
The new chart picks up the entire 68-year country singles chart history, while the Country Airplay chart history encompasses the entire Nielsen BDS era, which began with the chart dated Jan. 20, 1990. While the new Hot Country Songs chart becomes the centerpiece country songs list in the Billboard print product, the Country Airplay chart continues without interruption as the anchor chart for the Monday edition of Billboard Country Update (both charts are also on Billboard.com). Serviced Thursday mornings, the new mid-week BCU includes the freshest Country Digital Songs and Top Country Albums lists, market features from Nielsen SoundScan and a country on-demand songs chart, among other features.
Meanwhile, Little Big Town leads Country Albums for a fourth straight week (31,000 sold) with "Tornado," while Jason Aldean's "Take a Little Ride" logs a third consecutive week atop the Nielsen BDS-driven Country Airplay scorecard.