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"Can You Tell Whether A Song Is A Hit If It's Not On The Charts?"

December 10, 2010

Have you been listening to NPR lately? The afternoon show All Things Considered caught my ear yesterday with a segment called "Can you tell whether a song is a hit if it's not on the charts?"

It's a Johnny-come-lately story, of course, as many have pointed out in the comments they left on the NPR website (, like the first one who wrote “Top 40? Top 100? What are those? Nothing I have bought has ever been on those charts.”

But what was interesting: Billboard now has a chart based on viral sources like listener preferences discussed on Facebook, Twitter etc. - the more chatter there is about a song, the more chances it has to make it onto that chart.

As an example - for better or for worse - Justin Bieber, who is nowhere to be seen on the regular charts and hardly heard on commercial radio (despite having the most-watched-ever video on YouTube), is Number Two on the Social 50.

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