Wednesday, July 21, 2010

BigChampagne Takes On Billboard Hot 100 With Launch Of Millennial "Ultimate Chart"

BigChampagne Media Measurement, a leader in measuring online traffic, announced at the New Music Seminar in New York this week the launch of its "Ultimate Chart," a weekly tally featuring the top 100 songs and artists.

The new music chart offers a ranked list of the week's most popular acts and titles that not only integrates song sales and radio play, but also includes data from online audio and video plays from the likes of Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Vevo, Pandora, Myspace, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo, Rhapsody, Napster and AOL. It's an intriguing, millennial-ripe concept that allows the voice of the active consumer to weigh in like never before. Less Clear Channel and CBS Radio; more Joe and Jane Public—and an obvious challenge to the Billboard Hot 100, initiated in 1955.

Not surprisingly, Billboard.biz poo-pooed the concept: "An actual sale represents money changing hands and a signal of high consumer interest. A stream does not reflect the same," though the competitor admits, "In an era of sponsorships, brand partnerships, music merchandise and multi-rights contracts, differences between purchases and access become less pronounced."

Claims that "Billboard is dead" may be premature, but the Hot 100 is feeling creaky with its reliance on radio conglomerates and a handful of "sales" outlets. Indeed, reports that deem the Universal Chart a revolution do not sound far-fetched.

BigChampagne added in a statement, "The Ultimate Chart examines music sales and radio airplay—and the access to music and socializing around music that are growing much faster. We're rewriting the charts for the new music business and enlisting its chief architects" to identify the most popular music that the Hot 100 overlooks.

Former Billboard editor in chief and founder of The Comet music blog Tamara Conniff, told Variety, "This chart is long overdue and represents for the first time an accurate view of where popular music is today. Music is not just about sales, it's about interaction: listening, watching, playlisting, evangelizing and socializing."

Click here for the week's top songs; here for artists. (Sadly, Eminem rules both; we're off to a shaky start!)