In a move that comes as a surprise to many (given that most thought it was already the case), Billboard announced last week that Pandora streaming data will be used to calculate chart placements.
Joining stats that are comprised of digital sales, Spotify streams, Tidal Streams, Soundcloud streams, Youtube streams, radio airplay, and more, the incorporation of Pandora info will provide a truer representation of consumer interests given the platform’s rank in the streaming arena. Pandora co-founder, Tim Westergren, echoes the sentiment:
“Pandora is now the No.1 radio station in 87 US markets and represents roughly 10 percent [of] 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.”
But, there’s a catch:
Billboard note that Pandora’s streams will count at a lesser value than traditional streams as plays are more direct on other services.
Fans confused as to why Pandora was not included in the original list of streaming platforms selected by Billboard to calculate chart data must understand that it was a fundamentally free service and lacked a “premium component” akin to its direct competitors. Now that it has announced intent to add a full-on premium edition of its service, Billboard has had a change of heart.
The move is a timely one considering that just a week prior Billboard had begun implementing streaming figures into all of its genres’ charts, not just the Hot 100.
Billboard co-president John Amato states:
“Billboard’s unrivaled charts are the definitive source for ranking music popularity. 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.”
Pandora’s streaming data will begin to be integrated into Billboard’s charts on February 11.