Billboard Japan Unveils Chart Redesign, Opens Voting for Artist of the Year Ahead of Music Awards 2014


Billboard's sister organization, Billboard Japan, has released its year-end chart rankings, as well as a redesigned take on its charts for readers.

The redesigned chart display gives readers more nuanced information on the way songs are ranked, from Twitter mentions, airplay, physical and digital sales and Gracenote lookup (especially important in Japan, where CD sales remain strong). An expansion of this update is planned for April 2015.

As well, the Billboard Japan Music Awards 2014 is taking votes for its Artist of the Year award, via Twitter and by measuring plays through Daiichi Kosho karaoke systems. Voting for Artist of the Year began Dec. 12 and is set to continue through Dec. 31, with the winner being announced on Jan. 16.

Below find a selection of Billboard Japan's year-end charts, where -- surprise -- Frozen and Pharrell's "Happy" make tall appearances.

Hot 100
1. Arashi, “GUTS!”
2. AKB48, “Kokoro No Placard”
3. AKB48, “Labrador Retriever”
4. Arashi, “Daremo Shiranai”
5. Arashi, “Bittersweet”
6. Pharrell Williams, “Happy”
7. Takako Matsu, “Let It Go (Ari No Mamade)”
Top Single Sales
1. AKB48, “Labrador Retriever”
2. Arashi, “GUTS!”
3. Arashi, “Bittersweet”
Top Album
1. Frozen soundtrack (Deluxe Edition)
3. Namie Amuro, Ballada

A 2-CD Deluxe edition of the Frozen soundtrack featuring the score, Japanese language versions, and karaoke versions was the year's Top Album, with last year's year-end chart-topper Arashi's 13th album coming in at a close second.
Hot Top Airplay
1.     Pharrell Williams, “Happy”
2.     One Direction, “Story Of My Life”
3.     Ariana Grande, “Baby I”
Hot Overseas
1.     Pharrell Williams, “Happy”
2.     One Direction, “Story Of My Life”
3.     Idina Menzel, “Let It Go”
As for international artists, Pharrell continued to dominate with his worldwide smash hit "Happy," taking No. 1 on the Hot Overseas Year-End Chart. "Story Of My Life" by One Direction was used in major cellular company Docomo's TV commercials, which lead to the song charting for nearly 50 weeks since its release in 2013. Ariana Grande ranked at No. 3 on the Hot Top Airplay and No. 5 on the Hot Overseas Chart, with "Problem" feat. Iggy Azelea and “Break Free" feat. Zedd also charting in the Top 20.