Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant. Billboard and Twitter are partners in a new project delivering real-time music charts anytime, anywhere, on anything. The mechanism measures conversations around music on Twitter and presents them on Billboard’s website. Now this is contextual journalism in practice.
Billboard’s traditional approach to charting is in too many ways antiquated. The music consuming community lives in the moment—able to sample, stream, or purchase songs whenever, wherever, and on whatever device they may be. Weekly charts are stale before they publish.
Contextual charting, with Twitter as measure, is more relevant but nevertheless limited. According to Pew Research Journalism Project, only 16 percent of Americans use Twitter, and demographics don’t capture a representative audience. Perhaps that explains the partners’ focus on artists and fan responses.
Twitter’s Bob Moczydlowsky describes the charts “the conversation around music as it happens. This means when artists share songs and engage with their audience on Twitter, the buzz they create will now be visible to fans, other musicians and industry decision makers in real-time”.
The concept promises much. Current news economics, as determined by the Google free economy, is unsustainable. Audience is the measure that matters, and it spans multiple contextual venues. The Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts capture audience response and broadly, not just snapshotting conversations but making the relevant to Billboard and Twitter audiences. too.
The real-time charts will be available within weeks and measure U.S. conversations.