Billboard Revamps Hot 100 Chart With Online Music Data From AOL Music and Yahoo!

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Reflects growth of digital delivery in redefined music marketplace.

The introduction of digital sales to the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2005 was exactly the jolt the chart needed at the time

Billboard, the world's most comprehensive source of music, digital data and events, today announced an expansion of its Hot 100 formula to include weekly streamed and on-demand music data to the chart's traditional mix of sales and radio airplay. Keeping pace with the growth of digital delivery, Billboard's franchise chart will be supplemented by weekly data from AOL Music (http://www.music.aol.com) and Yahoo! Music, two of the most prominent sources of online music.

Throughout the chart's 49-year history, The Billboard Hot 100 has determined the most popular songs by aggregating sales and radio data. Digital delivery began playing an important role in the chart's composition in February 2005, when Billboard factored in the sale of digital tracks, as measured by Nielsen SoundScan from a comprehensive panel of online merchants.

The chart also factors radio impressions from monitor service Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems (Nielsen BDS) and retail single sales, tracked by Nielsen SoundScan to reflect the 100 most popular songs. The retooled chart will add weekly online music data provided by AOL® Music and Yahoo! Music, ensuring that the chart represents emerging trends in music consumption.

Like digital sales, the on-demand data represents a more active voice for the consumer. Billboard is eager to incorporate streaming data from other online sources, including Rhapsody, and is working with Nielsen BDS for such expansion.

Billboard associate director of charts Silvio Pietroluongo, who manages the Hot 100, orchestrated the chart's new formula.

"The introduction of digital sales to the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2005 was exactly the jolt the chart needed at the time," said Pietroluongo. "With the addition of AOL Music and Yahoo! Music, Billboard continues to keep stride with today's digital trends while maintaining the chart's traditional balance."

In the new Billboard Hot 100 formula, radio audience will average about 55% of the chart's total points. Digital sales will account for about 40%, and streaming media will determine 5%. Physical singles--in line with the music industry's retreat from that product over the past decade -- will account for less than 1% of the chart's new formula.

As part of the chart's revision, Billboard's Hot 100 chart's radio panel will expand to include all current-based commercial U.S. stations that Nielsen BDS monitors, regardless of whether those stations qualify for a Billboard or Radio & Records format panel. For example, stations removed from Hot Country Songs' consideration when that chart's criteria was revised last fall will now have a voice on the Hot 100. This increases the Hot 100's station count by nearly 250 stations.

Since 1958, The Billboard Hot 100 has provided consumers with the most up-to date and high-tech rankings of the top 100 songs in the nation. Unparalleled in its comprehensive data compilation, The Billboard Hot 100 has become an institution that remains one of Billboard magazine's most frequently cited resources.

About Billboard:
Now in its 112th year, Billboard is the world's premier weekly music publication and a diverse digital, events and brand, content and data licensing platform. Billboard publishes the most trusted charts and offers unrivaled reporting about the latest music, video, gaming, media, digital and mobile entertainment issues and trends. Billboard is the flagship property for the Billboard Information Group, which also consists of Billboard.biz, Billboard.com, Billboard Chart Alert, Billboard Information Network (BIN), Billboard Directories, Billboard Books, Billboard Licensing & Events and Radio & Records. Billboard's many strategic partners include Fox-TV, Microsoft, Hands-On Mobile, Reuters, Sirius Satellite Radio, Telemundo, Univision Radio, ABC Radio Networks, Azteca America, BigChampagne and Billboard sister companies Nielsen SoundScan and Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems. These partnerships leverage Billboard's proprietary data, charts and information resources to develop broadcast entertainment, digital and mobile platforms and contextual commerce applications that expand Billboard's franchise and consumer reach. Billboard is published by Nielsen Business Media, a division of The Nielsen Company.

About AOL Music:
AOL Music (http://music.aol.com) is a leading online destination for music, reaching millions of music fans a month through a rich array of programming, products and services that make it easy to discover, experience, listen to and buy music online. The varying channels, including PopEater and Spinner, feature breaking news, artist gossip, exclusive programming, live events, music first premieres, music downloads, music videos, Internet radio, insider blogs, photo galleries, and original series including The Top 11, AOL Sessions, and The DL.

About Yahoo! Music:
Yahoo! Music (http://music.yahoo.com) is the #1 online music destination. Yahoo! Music offers more than 2 million songs for download as well as the tools to manage, explore and share music. Yahoo! Music provides a wide selection of streaming video and audio, the Web's largest collection of music videos, Internet radio, original content, exclusive features, artist information and news covering all genres of music to Yahoo! users.

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Catherine Lewis
The Rosen Group
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