Twitter and Billboard to create continuously updated song charts

Billboard has long charted the successes in the music industry. Making it to the top of the Billboard charts means money to a band and a label. The charts themselves are used as intelligence data by the industry, tracking trends and emerging artists.

But with the emergence of iTunes, Pandora, and Spotify, the Billboard charts are fading in relevance. Rather than fade away, Billboard cast their lot with Twitter to produce a set of charts that track song and artist mentions, rather than downloads.

On Thursday, the two companies announced a plan to create the Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts: continuously updated lists of the songs being discussed and shared the most on Twitter in the United States. The charts, to be published on and through the publication’s Twitter feed, are expected to be introduced in May.

“We have been looking for a way to do a real-time chart for some time,” said John Amato, co-president of the entertainment group of Guggenheim Media, a division of the private equity firm Guggenheim Partners, which owns Billboard. “We couldn’t think of a better way to do that than with Twitter.”

Music is the most widely discussed topic on Twitter, and seven of the top 10 accounts are those of pop stars like Katy Perry, who has the No. 1 Twitter account with nearly 52 million followers. But the company has struggled to find ways to exploit its music-related traffic, and the Billboard deal suggests an effort by Twitter to correct one of its rare public missteps: its #Music app.

I think this is a clever idea. It’ll be interesting to see if this catches on with the industry.