Billboard launched their first set of real-time charts this morning, a partnership with Twitter meant to make sense of listening patterns and rising artists across the social media platform. According to Billboard’s site, the Trending 140 chart is “an up to the minute ranking of songs shared in the U.S., measured by acceleration over the past hour,” and the Emerging Artists chart “is a ranking of the most shared songs on Twitter in the U.S. by up-and-coming artists ranked by the number of times each song was shared over the past 24 hours.” Both rankings will be broken down on a weekly basis on Billboard.com and in its trade magazine. They’ll be calculated through the following metrics:
* the use of, or the inclusion, of a link to the song via music listening platforms, such as Spotify, Vevo and iTunes.
* the use of various track sharing notations, such as the hashtags “#nowplaying” or “#np,” along with song/artist name.
* the use of various terms associated with the song and song playing, such as “music,” “song,” “track,” “listen.”
Whether this partnership will create a reliable discovery tool — like The Hype Machine has for years, via their blog network — or simply support and spit out mainstream artists remains to be seen. One thing’s certain: Their first choice of a spokesperson, rising pop artist and ‘YouTube sensation’ Austin Mahone, isn’t exactly encouraging.
“I am thrilled to be one of the first artists to see my songs move on the Billboard Twitter Charts,” Mahone said as his “Shadow” loomed at the very top of the Trending 140 rundown. “For me, it’s always about my fans, and I love seeing what all my Mahomies are saying about the new EP – it’s exciting that there’s finally a platform that tracks what the fans are saying about music in real-time.”