Rolling Stone is taking on Billboard, with the launch of its own proprietary music charts. Debuting Monday, May, 13, Rolling Stone Charts will track the popularity and reach of U.S. artists, albums and songs. Powered by music analytics service Alpha Data—formerly BuzzAngle Music—the rankings incorporate digital and physical sales, and on-demand streaming activity.
The first charts to launch include: Rolling Stone Top 100 Songs, a daily chart that ranks the most consumed songs of the week by audience demand, with on-demand audio + video streams, and song sales; Rolling Stone Top 200 Albums, a weekly chart ranking the most consumed albums by audience demand, including physical and digital album sales, song sales, on-demand audio + video streams; and the weekly Rolling Stone Artist 500, which ranks the most streamed artists by audience demand, comprising both on-demand audio + video streams.
Also rolling out next week is the Rolling Stone Trending 25—which includes radio airplay—with a weekly ranking of the fastest-growing songs measured by consumption of on-demand audio + video streams, physical purchases, digital purchases and airplay spins. The chart does not measure volume of consumption, but rather the highest rates of growth week over week, signaling “songs and artists deserving of attention,” RS says. And finally, the magazine will launch the Rolling Stone Breakthrough 25, which ranks artists charting for the first time, measured by audience demand, including both on-demand audio + video streams.
Jay Penske, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Rolling Stone owner Penske Media Corp. (PMC), said in a release, “PMC’s strategy is to constantly evolve our brands and products across media platforms. What’s imperative and exciting about our new Rolling Stone Charts is that it will present a transparent, granular and real-time quantification to accurately reflect listeners’ evolving interests and give insight into worldwide trends.”
Since its launch as BuzzAngle Music, Alpha Data has offered daily updates via its dashboard-driven system that shows streaming data at a market level; and both major and independent label and distributor market share based on streaming and total consumption. Its methodology allows for more than 10 trillion combinations of individualized reports for albums, songs, artists, labels and distributors, Rolling Stone says.
Penske Media in January bought a 49% stake in Rolling Stone, after purchasing an initial 51% stake in 2017, giving the company full control of the publishing brand. It made a strategic investment in Alpha Data in 2018 to “deepen the influence and expand exposure of the Alpha Data charts, as well as provide Alpha Data a stronger financial foundation from which to grow.”