Billboard Teams Up With Twitter to Create Chart for Most-Tweeted Songs


Billboard, the king of music charts, is publishing a ranking of the most popular songs in the U.S. based on a brand new metric: Twitter conversations. 

Billboard will update the chart everyday, and will also write stories and record video around the data that will appear on both its website and Twitter. Advertisers can pay to sponsor the chart, called “the Billboard Hot Trending Powered by Twitter,” or buy sponsorships within the videos and articles made around the charts.

Billboard has long been the music industry’s main resource for measuring what is popular: It already publishes the leading charts for top songs and albums, as well as rankings specific to genres such as country and hip-hop. It approached Twitter roughly a year ago about creating a new chart that reflects what songs people are talking about the most on social media. The two companies plan to announce the offering at a Twitter presentation for advertisers Wednesday.

Music is the most popular topic of conversation on Twitter, according to Sarah Rosen, the social-media company’s head of entertainment partnerships. When an artist releases a new album and new merchandise, or makes an appearance at a major music festival, their fans go on Twitter to talk about it. The chart is unusual for Billboard in that it’s not measuring what people are listening to, but what they talk about. The top song in a given day might not be the most popular on the radio or Spotify, but it could be trending because of an anniversary or a performance on “Saturday Night Live.” 

“This is all tied to conversation,” Rosen said. “This is another cool way to slice and dice music data that’s different from what they are doing with all the other charts out there.”

Bloomberg publishes its own monthly chart, the Pop Star Power Rankings, which tracks the biggest pop stars in the world based on measures such as Spotify streams and Instagram interactions. Billboard/MRC Data provides Bloomberg with its weekly Billboard 200 chart.

The Twitter chart is a fun new tool for fans, and an opportunity for the two companies to turn a profit. Charts is the most popular section of Billboard’s website, and generates the most interactions on social media. It’s a reason for industry insiders to pay for a subscription, and for the common fan to to go Billboard and boost its advertising business. Charts also create their own news — Justin Bieber moved into No. 1! — and Billboard plans to create videos analyzing the movements.

“Advertisers can align with the hottest trends in music and the most buzzworthy topics,” Billboard President Julian Holguin said in an interview. “Moving at the speed of culture is hard to do, and this chart can help advertisers take part in that.”

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