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Editors' Blogs

"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 (http://tinyurl.com/24vh2e5), 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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