The Billboard 100 Ranking System Spreads to Country Songs
Billboard’s new decision has changed the way country music will be ranked on their charts. For example, this face-lift has made what would have been the #36 song become the current #1 on the Hot Country Songs chart.
Before you understand the change, let’s ask you: which song do you think is the current #1 country song? Think of the song you hear most on country radio, is it: Blown Away, Hard to Love, Cruise, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, or something else? Remember your answer.
The former Billboard system ranked songs based on the number of spins they got on country radio that week. However, the new system is made up of the number of spins the song received on other formats–country, pop, top 40–as well as digital downloads and streaming data–Spotify, Rhapsody, etc.
While the new methodology is more consumer friendly, fans of the genre are up in arms about the change. One particularly upset fan started a petition on Change.org for Billboard to switch back to their old ways; it has gotten 584 signatures as of October 18th.
Now back to the current #1 on the Hot Country Songs chart. The right answer? Taylor Swift’s We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. While the song ranks down at #36 on Country Airplay, it has shot to #1 on Hot Country Songs. Not to mention her song Red, which hasn’t even been released to radio, was last week’s #2.
While this system helps those artists with crossover appeal, it could also subject them to overexposure. How does this change country music? Possibly an outbreak of more pop-country songs with crossover potential to try to fit the new mold of the rules.
However, when it comes down to it this is the new system and it doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.