The ranking formula used to calculate Billboard's Hot 100 Songs list is being tweaked to reflect plays on the Rdio and Spotify music streaming services, the Wall Street Journal reports. Despite the rapid transformation of the music industry, the Hot 100 is still often the standard by which people judge a song's popularity, and despite being founded on jukebox and radio spins, the current formula also includes data from paid digital downloads and streaming services like Slacker, MOG, and Rhapsody.
While electronic distribution has been represented in the Hot 100 formula for the past several years, Bill Werde, Billboard's editorial director, says that this newest generation of streaming services "have only recently hit a critical mass." Billboard had been testing the tweaks over the past few weeks, and notes that other than minor shifts of a few spots here and there, songs by electronic artists like Skrillex and M83 — absent from the current Top 100 — chart in the lower quarter list when streaming data is included. It's not surprising to see that Billboard is changing its ratings to reflect changes in music distribution, but one incredibly popular channel is still missing from the formula — YouTube plays.