How Streaming Music Is Transforming The Billboard Charts

According to a recent report from NME, Billboard has reconfigured its chart system to track internet radio and any form of streaming media — even YouTube.  You read that right.  Even if you release albums in the unsigned and indie music scene, Billboard will be watching how many views your song receives on YouTube.  This, of course, assumes that you are selling CDs in a way that puts your music in Billboard’s tracking database.  Your CD should have a Universal Product Code (UPC), and both the CD and the UPC should be registered with Soundscan.  Once you are on Billboard’s radar, their tracking system will be watching how your music performs online.

Major labels may complain about YouTube and other free venues for music, but it’s hard for some to feel sorry for them while the corporate labels are still making millions of dollars.  If you’re a struggling new artist trying to emerge from the mass of indie bands out there, low sales can be devastating and it’s frustrating when listeners don’t feel any urgency to pay for your music.  Today, Artists have to work much harder to sell the same number of albums that would have sold with ease ten years ago.

That’s where streaming music comes in, and that’s why this news about Billboard is good news.  As the saying goes, you need to work smarter, not harder.  Music industry power brokers like Billboard are shining a brighter spotlight on streaming music.  They’re giving the technology more influence.  While this may send some major label executives into bouts of depression, for indie artists, it is cause to celebrate.

Yes, bands still need creative business savvy, such as bundling their albums with merchandise to give fans a better reason to “buy.”  It’s hard work having to play more shows and produce more merchandise just to sell albums, but it’s comforting to know that your online presence will make a bigger mark than ever before.

In addition to uploading your songs onto YouTube and other social media sites, you can rise above your peers by ensuring that your music is played on streaming media stations that cater to an audience that might be interested in your music, such as

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