Billboard and Pandora today (Jan. 30) announced an exclusive agreement that will add influential Pandora streaming data to the Billboard Hot 100, the world’s preeminent songs chart. The Hot 100 ranks the week’s most popular songs across all genres, determined by a formula blending track sales, radio airplay and streaming, as measured by Nielsen Music, now along with Pandora’s exclusive streaming data, as well.
In addition, Pandora will also impact Billboard’s streaming-based charts, and Hot 100 formula-based genre rankings: Hot Country Songs, Hot Rock Songs, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Hot Rap Songs, Hot R&B Songs, Hot Latin Songs, Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, Hot Christian Songs and Hot Gospel Songs.
Pandora data will be incorporated into the Billboard charts noted above dated Feb. 11 and revealed on Billboard.com on Tuesday, Jan. 31.
Pandora data positively impacts 35 titles on the Hot 100, including nine songs that improve in rank by five or more places if compared to the chart absent of Pandora data. Among the titles showing such marked improvement thanks to Pandora plays are Rob $tone’s “Chill Bill,” featuring J. Davi$ and Spooks, Bebe Rexha’s “I Got You” and Rihanna’s “Sex With Me.” “Chill Bill” is among Pandora’s top 10 most-streamed songs of the week, which helps it place more than 10 spots higher on the Hot 100 than if Pandora data had not been added.
In addition, looking at songs that appear on the Hot 100 that didn’t a week ago but now do thanks in part to Pandora’s influence, Callum Scott’s first Hot 100 hit, “Dancing on My Own,” debuts and Lady Gaga’s “Million Reasons” re-enters.
“Billboard’s unrivaled charts are the definitive source for ranking music popularity. For decades, the charts have acted as a place where both artists measure success and fans discover music,” says John Amato, co-president of The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group.
“Close to 80 million music lovers listen to Pandora every month and we look forward to bringing our brands together to incorporate Pandora’s data into our charts.”
“We’re thrilled to bring Pandora aboard as a contributor to our songs charts,” says Silvio Pietroluongo, VP of charts and data development for Billboard. “The music tastes and listening habits of Pandora’s large and influential user base are elements that we’ve longed to include as a measure of song popularity in the Hot 100 and various other Billboard charts.”
Pandora founder and CEO Tim Westergren, who, along with Pandora artist advocate Questlove was featured on the cover of the Billboard issue dated Jan. 28, says,
“Over the last few years, Pandora has shared more and more data with the music industry. We started with artists and managers, then direct-deal label partners, and now Billboard for inclusion in the iconic Hot 100 chart. With each step along the way, our partners have been shocked by the sheer size of Pandora’s audience. Pandora is now the No. 1 radio station in 87 U.S. markets and represents roughly 10 percent all radio listening. With the inclusion of Pandora data, the Billboard charts that have guided listeners and been so central to the music industry for decades now reflect a truer measure of a song’s popularity today. I’m thrilled that the ‘Pandora effect’ will now be formally recognized in the industry’s gold standard for measurement.”
“Next Big Sound has been a data partner of Billboard’s since 2010, with the introduction of the Social 50 chart,” adds Alex White, head of Next Big Sound at Pandora. “Based on our years of data expertise across social and streaming sources, we know the staggering volume of Pandora data that has not been counted. We project that the Pandora data will have hit a material impact on chart positions. I am excited that the Hot 100 will now include the enormous number of spins on Pandora.”
Pandora joins other programmed music streaming services as Billboard chart contributors, including Slacker, Google Radio, Napster and AOL Radio, among others, as well as on-demand subscription services including Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon and SoundCloud, and video on-demand platforms YouTube (including Vevo on YouTube) and VidZone. Note that the latter on-demand streaming services are weighted at a higher value on weekly charts than programmed streaming services, reflecting their more active consumer interaction.