Music by VICE

'Rolling Stone' to Launch New Music Charts Next Week

The forthcoming Rolling Stone Charts will cover the top 100 singles and the top 200 albums in the U.S, challenging Billboard's decades-long reign.

by Josh Terry
May 7 2019, 3:42pm

Photo of Lil Nas X by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Stagecoach

Billboard's charts of albums and singles, published in their current form since the 1950s, have long been the definitive force in music rankings. But now, according to a Vanity Fair report, Rolling Stone seeks to challenge that decades-long reign with new charts measuring the top 200 albums and top 100 singles. Launching May 13, the forthcoming charts will differ from Billboard in three ways per the report: "they will be updated daily as opposed to weekly, they will go deeper on streaming data, and they will be completely transparent about their measurement methodologies."

Though some competitors have tried and failed to match Billboard’s dominance in music charts, Rolling Stone marks a real challenge to the industry staple. Critics have questioned Billboard’s relevance recently after Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" was controversially removed from the publication’s country charts before climbing to the top of the Hot 100 for five weeks straight. Where Billboard calculates their rankings via an exclusive deal with Nielsen SoundScan since 1991, Rolling Stone will use analytics start-up Alpha Data, previously known as BuzzAngle Music, to measure their own. It's set to tabulate digital and physical sales as well as streaming totals.

On top of the new singles and albums charts, Variety reports that Rolling Stone will also debut "the Rolling Stone Artist 500," which tabulates the most-streamed artists, "the Rolling Stone Trending 25" that calculates the fastest rising songs, and their measurement for buzzing new artists, "the Rolling Stone Breakthrough 25." In a statement to Vanity Fair, C.E.O Jay Penske said, "Rolling Stone is the most widely recognized brand in the music space and we think it should be used in other ways to help people discover music."

Disclosure: Josh Terry also freelances for both Rolling Stone and Billboard.