For more than six decades, musicians have competed with one another to reach the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 songs chart. The competition is about to get a lot more intense.
Billboard magazine will release a largely streaming-based tally of the most popular songs in the world Monday, the first time the publication has compiled a list that measures the entire world at once. Rapper Cardi B will lead the charts in its first week with her new song “WAP,” followed by the South Korean boy band BTS with “Dynamite.”
The music industry relies on Billboard to determine what songs, albums and artists are the most popular at any given time. Artists post on social media about their new song or album hitting the top spot, or even cracking the top 100.
Yet as streaming services such as Spotify Technology SA, Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube and Apple Inc.’s Apple Music have given fans all around the world equal access to new music, these charts have offered an incomplete look at what is most popular. That’s about to change with what Billboard calls the first-ever authoritative ranking of the top songs globally.
“We want to present an extension of the Hot 100 on a global scale,” said Silvio Pietroluongo, who runs Billboard’s charts business. The new global rankings will include streaming data from major providers Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube, as well as digital sales via storefronts from Apple and Beatport.
Billboard won’t be able to measure all music consumption. It won’t include radio listening abroad, as it does in the U.S. chart. Nor will it have access to data from some of the leading local streaming services, including those run by Tencent Music Entertainment Group in China.
The company still hopes to get those rights, according to Pietroluongo. But for the time being, Billboard has a critical mass of data that gives a good representation of what music people love all over the world.
For the record, Cardi B is also the top-ranked artist on Bloomberg’s Pop Star Power Rankings, a global list that looks at performers beyond just their biggest songs.
Watch the official music video for Cardi B’s “WAP” featuring Megan Thee Stallion, which now has over 197 million views, here: