Starting with this week’s issue, the Billboard Hot 100 takes another step into the 21st century, as, for the first time, streamed and on-demand music becomes part of the chart’s formula. For more than a year, Billboard’s charts department has worked with Nielsen BDS to add weekly data from Yahoo and AOL to Billboard’s franchise chart.
This additional data will not affect the chart as much as the Hot 100 revamp of February 2005, when digital songs that Nielsen SoundScan tracks were added to the formula. Initially, Billboard expects those plays to account for about 5% of the chart’s total points.
Meanwhile, this first recalibration since digital sales moved into the chart two years ago makes an adjustment to account for the vigorous growth that digital distribution has experienced in that span.
SoundScan placed the number of digital tracks sold in 2005 at 352.6 million, almost triple the prior year’s volume. Track sales grew by 65%, to 582 million, in 2006. Year to date in 2007, digital song downloads stand at 462.1 million through the year’s first 29 weeks, up 48% over the same period last year.