The new Billboard chart rules have given Rihanna, Taylor Swift, and “Gangnam Stlye” singer PSY no. 1s on the charts. The change counts digital download sales and streaming data into 50-position ratings along with radio airplay.
This affects the Hot Country Songs, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Latin Songs charts as well as the new R&B songs chart, in which R&B was long lumped together with Hip-Hop. Taylor, Rihanna, and Psy are all given a lift on the charts because of this figuration.
Taylor’s new single “Begin Again” rises from 37-10. The no. 1 crossover to the pop charts is no. 36 on Country Airplay and No. 1 on Country Digital Songs while “Red” ranks no. 2 on that list. “Begin Again” is no. 29 on Country Airplay appears and no. 3 on Country Digital Songs.
Rihanna moves from no. 66 under R&B/Hip-Hop Songs to no. 1 with “Diamonds”. She is also the inaugural no. 1 on the R&B songs chart. Psy hits no. 1 (up from no. 20) with “Gangnam Style”, his current Hot 100 no. 2 hit.
It definitely helps rather than hinders artists when Billboard comes up with new rules. However one downside can come from changes in album sales calculations stemming from exclusive deals with retailers. This was the case in 2007 when Billboard changed their policy regarding album sales giving The Eagles’ Long Road Out of Eden the no. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 charts rather than Britney Spears’ Blackout.
Side note: I’m still bitter about that one. Bitter Britney stan I am.