Itunes, Billboard, and the marginalization of black music and black audiences in America

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So today Billboard changed their policy to allow digital music sales to count on previously airplay-driven genre charts. The problem with this is that there is no way of separating by demographics like there is for radio. The radio listener chooses the station that best fits their tastes, whereas anyone might buy from Itunes. Further compounding the problem is that that isn't even true -- economically privileged listeners, who are more likely to be white, are much more likely to purchase digital music.

The introduction of Itunes data to the Billboard Hot 100 in 2005 has had the effect of slowly but surely pushing music favored by black audiences off the pop charts and top 40 (and even rhythmic) radio, to the point where there are now very few songs that cross over from urban radio to other formats. Over the past year or so, there have been only a few songs popular on the r&b charts that cross over into the top 40 at any given time, usually below the top 10 (even this year's huge rap hits "The Motto" and "Mercy" got stuck in the teens on the big chart), while most of urban radio's big songs get stuck in the 30-100 range of the Hot 100. This has also led to the trend of black music stars like Nicki Minaj and Usher creating entirely different singles for different radio formats, with pop songs for white radio and r&b or rap songs for black radio.

Billboard's new changes potentially strike an even bigger blow to black audiences being able to determine their own hits. On this week's r&b chart, with the changes enacted, Rihanna's decidedly pop (and, it should be noted, terrible) "Diamonds" jumps from #61 to #1, pushing Miguel's decidedly r&b (and brilliant) "Adorn" out of the top spot. Urban radio stations may have lost one of their last impetuses left not to play pop music with white-leaning audiences.

There's even more to this but I don't have time to explain every last factor at work right this second. Here's what's been said on the rolling r&b thread:

um... some dude... wtf is going on with the R&B chart? why is Rihanna's "Diamonds" suddenly #1?

― (whose paintings looked like (pink) vaginas) (The Brainwasher), Thursday, October 11, 2012 9:14 AM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

ha i was just about to come to this thread to gripe about that

basically the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart has tradtionally been mostly airplay + physical single sales, so if a nominal R&B song (by, say, Rihanna) did well on iTunes and pop radio but not actual R&B stations, it wouldn't make much of an impact on the R&B chart. but as of this week, iTunes is a factor on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop like it has been on the Hot 100 for years, so now suddenly "Diamonds" is #1, and there's now a R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart which is basically what the main chart used to be, and on that "Adorn" is #1 and "Diamonds is #61.

this is massively fuck up whatever confidence R&B stations and labels had left to not cater to pop crossover imo. horrible move by Billboard.

― some dude, Thursday, October 11, 2012 9:57 AM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

And now Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs is 50 deep instead of 100.

25-deep R&B Songs chart now, too.

― Andy K, Thursday, October 11, 2012 10:20 AM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

R&B Songs and Rap Songs will serve as 25-position distillations of the overall Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, highlighting the differences between pure R&B and rap titles in the overall, wide-ranging R&B/hip-hop field.

Eleven of the 25 songs on R&B Songs feature rappers, so "pure R&B" must mean songs with an R&B artist as only or lead voice.

― Andy K, Thursday, October 11, 2012 10:34 AM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Make that 10, not 11.

― Andy K, Thursday, October 11, 2012 10:34 AM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

― Cap'n Hug-a-Thug (The Reverend), Thursday, October 11, 2012 12:21 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

excuse me while I find a corner to curl up into the fetal position and cry in

― Cap'n Hug-a-Thug (The Reverend), Thursday, October 11, 2012 12:22 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

rev's "Itunes destroyed Black American pop music" rant on twitter a few months ago was so righteous that i saved it in a doc, tempted to just post it right now

― some dude, Thursday, October 11, 2012 12:34 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

post it! i missed it!

― lex pretend, Thursday, October 11, 2012 12:36 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i'd have to clean it up and re-order it for it to make sense, but here's the short version he put on tumblr: http://reverenddollars.tumblr.com/post/24446685357/positing-not-claiming

― some dude, Thursday, October 11, 2012 12:38 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

ha i saw that, think i favourited it somewhere

― lex pretend, Thursday, October 11, 2012 12:42 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I've gone on at least a couple such extended twitter rants. Been meaning to start a thread on the subject here and I think I will now. Please post whatever you saved.

― Cap'n Hug-a-Thug (The Reverend), Thursday, October 11, 2012 12:43 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

oh wow, part of my gripe about this was going to be that the Country charts didn't get the same treatment but they did -- Taylor Swift leaps from #21 to #1 on the revamped download-heavy Country chart. fucking Billboard, putting nails in the coffin of terrestrial radio formats' ability to make hits.

― some dude, Thursday, October 11, 2012 12:45 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

would quite like to hear about the role itunes is playing in this - that's not in the tumblr & i don't really know

― lex pretend, Thursday, October 11, 2012 12:46 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Wonder if (the very good, all-R&B) Two Eleven has a shot at the Top Ten of the Billboard 200. "Put It Down": 70-76-72 last three weeks on Hot 100 and 16-5-3 last three weeks on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop. Doesn't really bode well.

― Andy K, Thursday, October 11, 2012 12:48 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

2 columns that chris molanphy and i wrote about r&b's hot 100 decline that get into how itunes changed things:

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/music/2011/05/chris_brown_look_at_me_now_hot_100.php

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/music/2012/07/sales_slump_usher_chris_brown.php

― some dude, Thursday, October 11, 2012 12:51 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i read both of those at the time - they were great and i think i may have linked one in my independent r&b piece - but what is it about itunes that means it's an inefficient driver of r&b? it's so geared towards casual/spontaneous consumption that it inherently privileges pop?

― lex pretend, Thursday, October 11, 2012 12:54 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

whereas radio-driven r&b is dependent on gatekeepers to an extent?

― lex pretend, Thursday, October 11, 2012 12:54 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

those might be factors but the more simple truth is just that demographically speaking the songs and artists that get chart boosts from iTunes sales, particularly single sales, strongly skew pop and not urban

― some dude, Thursday, October 11, 2012 12:57 PM Bookmark

Cap'n Hug-a-Thug (The Reverend), Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:18 (3 years ago) Permalink

so iTunes ID3 genre tags DO matter lol

stop swearing and start windmilling (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:19 (3 years ago) Permalink

i'm quite shocked by this. i didn't know people still cared about billboard charts

frogbs, Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:19 (3 years ago) Permalink

It's not the charts themselves that I care about so much as how they reflect and drive cultural changes.

Cap'n Hug-a-Thug (The Reverend), Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:21 (3 years ago) Permalink

yeah the charts are bullshit but they have real ramifications in terms of what gets bankrolled

stop swearing and start windmilling (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:22 (3 years ago) Permalink

Oh and Psy has been placed on top of the rap charts, because obv "Gangnam Style" is what's hot in the streets right now.

Cap'n Hug-a-Thug (The Reverend), Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:31 (3 years ago) Permalink

If you have any interest in this phenomenon, please read the Molanphy articles.

Cap'n Hug-a-Thug (The Reverend), Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:33 (3 years ago) Permalink

another good reason to hate apple

We demand justice: who murdered Chanel? (Matt P), Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:34 (3 years ago) Permalink

Are there charts for most genres? And did they change too?

Algerian Goalkeeper, Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:40 (3 years ago) Permalink

yeah the charts are bullshit but they have real ramifications in terms of what gets bankrolled

so does a list of 'what music is actually being bought'

iatee, Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:41 (3 years ago) Permalink

This is really interesting, Rev. We've never really had high-stakes multiple charts and the US system has always seemed incredibly complicated to me, but then we're a million times smaller so it's a different proposition, I guess.

emil.y, Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:43 (3 years ago) Permalink

well, they used to be lists of what music is actually being played and requested on the radio, too. but however they combine these different statistics always seems to heavily favor sales over overplay. (xpost)

some dude, Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:44 (3 years ago) Permalink

I for one never liked the idea of airplay contributing to the charts here in the UK and I'm glad it remains sales based.

Algerian Goalkeeper, Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:44 (3 years ago) Permalink

but I can see why it works better in the USA. You only ever got top 40 or oldies radio here and that was it until digital radio and 1extra.

Algerian Goalkeeper, Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:45 (3 years ago) Permalink

Chris Mol@nphy wrote this column in ship's column last year:

All I'll add to the exhaustive data you offer is a hobby-horse I've been riding for a couple of years now: the need for Billboard to finally add digital-sales data to the R&B/Hip-Hop chart.

They've been resisting for years, on the (implied, not overtly stated) premise that it would ruin the character of a chart that has a long history with black-owned and oriented retailers. But with that segment (along with all brick-and-mortar music retail) at death's door anyway, the sales portion of Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs has been near-nonexistent for years, making it essentially a radio chart a la the deadly, predigital Hot 100 of 2000–05.

That's led to a problem where there's no longer a radio programmer-to-consumer-back-to-programmer feedback loop that makes for great charts. I'm sure there's a one-way influence from radio to the teen urban-music buyer who then downloads a Trey Songz MP3. But with that sale not reflected on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart, the loop ends there; programmers aren't given clear enough signals of how to reflect their most avid audience members' tastes (especially young audience).

In my ideal fantasy world, you'd be able to segment iTunes/AmazonMP3 song sales to pockets of the country that have large black populations or high urban-radio listenership, but that's probably impossible, or at least fraught. But at the very least, I think it'd be trivial for Billboard to set up a rule whereby a song eligible for R&B/Hip-Hop Songs would have to hit some kind of urban-radio threshold before their iTunes sales would count toward the chart.

the ones that I'm near most: fellow outcasts and ilxors (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:46 (3 years ago) Permalink

here's an explanation of the changes, which affect all genre charts:

http://www.billboard.com/news#/news/taylor-swift-rihanna-psy-buoyed-by-billboard-1007978552.story

the rock charts are much less affected by this than R&B or country -- for instance this week fun.'s "Some Nights" went back to #1 after falling to #8, because it had started to run its course on radio but is still selling strong on iTunes.

some dude, Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:47 (3 years ago) Permalink

ok lol i spoke to soon -- Philip Philips and Train are now big on the rock charts

some dude, Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:48 (3 years ago) Permalink

wtf is philip philips?

Algerian Goalkeeper, Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:49 (3 years ago) Permalink

Train are now big on the rock charts

chilling words in any context

the ones that I'm near most: fellow outcasts and ilxors (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:49 (3 years ago) Permalink

also holy shit SIX Mumford & Sons songs in a row on the rock songs chart, because that was the last big album release so every song is getting bought individually on itunes

Phillip Phillips won American Idol last year

some dude, Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:50 (3 years ago) Permalink

see that is bullshit with buying albums and the tracks being on a singles track

Algerian Goalkeeper, Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:52 (3 years ago) Permalink

*chart

Algerian Goalkeeper, Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:52 (3 years ago) Permalink

what i'm saying!

some dude, Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:55 (3 years ago) Permalink

it's one thing that rihanna has the #1 R&B song now, but when her album is released she'll probably take up the whole top 5

some dude, Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:55 (3 years ago) Permalink

you mentioned itunes sales in the other thread shipz - i'm guessing those are discounted albums rather than individual tracks?

apart from that and

economically privileged listeners, who are more likely to be white, are much more likely to purchase digital music

i'd be interested to know why r&b/rap/country etc might not be as digitally-driven...?

lex pretend, Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:59 (3 years ago) Permalink

it's funny, you might've thought before this all happened that iTunes impacting singles charts might mean that new artists and grassroots successes that have been shut out by the radio industry might get a better shot at breaking through. instead, it feels like any song by the biggest stars is stomping out songs people love by less famous artists via the power of name recognition and fanatical fanclub followings.

some dude, Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:04 (3 years ago) Permalink

you mentioned itunes sales in the other thread shipz - i'm guessing those are discounted albums rather than individual tracks?

Not discounted albums, people buy lots of album tracks individually from popular albums all the time. A hit album is almost guaranteed to have several album tracks enter the Hot 100 on its week of release because of this.

i'd be interested to know why r&b/rap/country etc might not be as digitally-driven...?

That isn't quite true of country, but white demographics are a lot more likely to have internet in their homes than black/latinos. And even if they do, the white listener is a lot more likely to have spare $$$ to spend on digital music.

Cap'n Hug-a-Thug (The Reverend), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:04 (3 years ago) Permalink

i mean if you want to go by the stereotype that country fans are rural/poorer than the same would apply to them too

congratulations (n/a), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:07 (3 years ago) Permalink

seems pretty obv

congratulations (n/a), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:07 (3 years ago) Permalink

ok...how does that square with the boom in free rap mixtapes?

also, i don't think i realised til now how airplay-driven charts would help songs specifically popular in demographics with no spare $$$ to actually buy them in whatever format.

lex pretend, Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:07 (3 years ago) Permalink

Note that of the top 20-selling songs in the US during the first half of 2012, only two, #16 "Rack City" and #18 "The Motto" reached the top 50 of the r&b chart.

Cap'n Hug-a-Thug (The Reverend), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:07 (3 years ago) Permalink

what genre of music dominates the US singles charts now?

Algerian Goalkeeper, Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:09 (3 years ago) Permalink

i mean if you want to go by the stereotype that country fans are rural/poorer than the same would apply to them too

― congratulations (n/a), Thursday, October 11, 2012 2:07 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I don't think this is as true as one might assume? A lot of well-off suburban country listeners. Or at least country seems to do fairly well on Itunes.

Cap'n Hug-a-Thug (The Reverend), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:09 (3 years ago) Permalink

capital-p Pop -- Katy Perry, Rihanna, Gaga, Kelly Clarkson, Pink, One Direction, etc. although this year stuff like Gotye and fun. has mixed things up a bit. (xpost)

some dude, Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:10 (3 years ago) Permalink

there's also the argument that buying your favorite song on iTunes (as opposed to just listening to it on the radio, streaming it on YouTube now and again, or buying the album) is a generational habit, and so things that skew younger benefit from this -- Taylor, Rihanna etc.

some dude, Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:10 (3 years ago) Permalink

i mean it sucks because a lot of these formats had been fostering new stars and putting interesting songs at #1 lately, but you're never gonna see Miguel top the R&B chart or Eric Church top the country chart again after this

some dude, Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:11 (3 years ago) Permalink

don't forget Maroon 5

the ones that I'm near most: fellow outcasts and ilxors (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:12 (3 years ago) Permalink

interesting stuff. i don't have my head entirely around the numbers & methodologies here, but there's something about a "return to monoculture" either in real terms or as a measurement phenomenon.

there is no dana, only (goole), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:12 (3 years ago) Permalink

is the pop domination due to itunes or changing of radio playlists/genre stations changing to top 40 or just one of those things that happens?

Algerian Goalkeeper, Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:12 (3 years ago) Permalink

interesting stuff. i don't have my head entirely around the numbers & methodologies here, but there's something about a "return to monoculture" either in real terms or as a measurement phenomenon.

It's been happening on radio for a while. It's impossible to break the Rihanna-Goyte-Katy-Perry-Maroon-5 stranglehold on Clear Channel Radio. I mean, I hear "One More Night" every 45 minutes.

the ones that I'm near most: fellow outcasts and ilxors (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:15 (3 years ago) Permalink

but you're never gonna see Miguel top the R&B chart or Eric Church top the country chart again after this

to be blunt about this, it's because, even though Rihanna makes club trance, she "is R&B" (because, you know), and Taylor Swift makes pop dubstep, she "is country" (again, because, you know). right?

in a way it seems like this is a identity/identification/musicalogical problem. almost.

there is no dana, only (goole), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:16 (3 years ago) Permalink

Taylor Swift... makes pop dubstep?

The Owls of Ja Rule (DJP), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:18 (3 years ago) Permalink

p much

there is no dana, only (goole), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:18 (3 years ago) Permalink

well, it's because when five Rihanna tracks become available her fans will download them at once from iTunes.

the ones that I'm near most: fellow outcasts and ilxors (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:18 (3 years ago) Permalink

SWIFTSTEP

lex pretend, Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:19 (3 years ago) Permalink

What would an ideal modern chart system look like?

wk, Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:19 (3 years ago) Permalink

Taylor Swift... makes pop dubstep?

I'll assume you don't want to hear her latest track.

the ones that I'm near most: fellow outcasts and ilxors (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:19 (3 years ago) Permalink

What would an ideal modern chart system look like?

"Adorn" and "Springsteen" topping every chart.

the ones that I'm near most: fellow outcasts and ilxors (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:19 (3 years ago) Permalink

so's "save a horse (ride a cowboy)," almost!

to be clear, not saying country HASN'T acknowledged hip-hop until now, just that its getting kinda omnipresent rather than a novelty

da croupier, Monday, 8 June 2015 16:33 (10 months ago) Permalink

also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowboy_%28Kid_Rock_song%29

hell, if you want to be cute about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Devil_Went_Down_to_Georgia

DJP, Monday, 8 June 2015 16:37 (10 months ago) Permalink

not being entirely serious obv

DJP, Monday, 8 June 2015 16:38 (10 months ago) Permalink

i was gonna say, i couldn't tell what you thought i was saying where any of this would be contradicting it

da croupier, Monday, 8 June 2015 16:39 (10 months ago) Permalink

one hope is that with 2000 back in fashion kid rock will be inspired to relax his "boring son of ted nugent & bob seger" shtick and maybe write some funny raps again

da croupier, Monday, 8 June 2015 16:42 (10 months ago) Permalink

Toby Keith's "I Wanna Talk About Me" came out in 2001 and is pretty much a rap song

Is It Any Wonder I'm Not the (President Keyes), Monday, 8 June 2015 16:53 (10 months ago) Permalink

and McGraw worked with Nelly again in 2012.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 8 June 2015 16:57 (10 months ago) Permalink

(at that point I wasn't sure who was doing whom a favor)

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 8 June 2015 16:58 (10 months ago) Permalink

to be clear, not saying country HASN'T acknowledged hip-hop until now, just that its getting kinda omnipresent rather than a novelty

but if we're playing the "who remembers a country song with a hip-hop element in it" game

da croupier, Monday, 8 June 2015 17:01 (10 months ago) Permalink

okay "We got a funky new tune with a fly banjo" made me lol

DJP, Monday, 8 June 2015 21:38 (10 months ago) Permalink

also what the hell: 1997: Spearhead feat. Joan Osbourne - "Wayfaring Stranger"

DJP, Monday, 8 June 2015 21:40 (10 months ago) Permalink

spoken-word country songs have been a thing since the dawn of country music

example (crüt), Monday, 8 June 2015 21:41 (10 months ago) Permalink

My head spun when I saw the words "Imani Coppola"

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 8 June 2015 21:42 (10 months ago) Permalink

http://www.imanicoppola.com/

lol

DJP, Monday, 8 June 2015 21:46 (10 months ago) Permalink

like a giraffe of nah (forksclovetofu), Monday, 8 June 2015 21:47 (10 months ago) Permalink

^^ defines "check out my fly banjo"

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 8 June 2015 21:50 (10 months ago) Permalink

was putting "i poop in a clam" on her website her own decision?

example (crüt), Monday, 8 June 2015 21:55 (10 months ago) Permalink

that DJ Quik sounds more like a santur than a banjo

example (crüt), Monday, 8 June 2015 21:56 (10 months ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

the top three songs in america -- and five of the top six -- are led by black men. if you count kendrick's verse on the "bad blood" remix then there is a black man on each of the top six songs on this week's chart

J0rdan S., Thursday, 9 July 2015 13:40 (9 months ago) Permalink

he has two verses doesn't he? it's basically kendrick lamar feat. taylor swift

transparent play for gifs (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 9 July 2015 13:51 (9 months ago) Permalink

http://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100 1 through 6

curmudgeon, Thursday, 9 July 2015 14:30 (9 months ago) Permalink

I think only two of those songs get airplay on urban stations, though?

Evan R, Thursday, 9 July 2015 14:34 (9 months ago) Permalink

Oh, three I guess. I thought rap stations weren't playing that Wiz Khalifa song

Evan R, Thursday, 9 July 2015 14:36 (9 months ago) Permalink

the wiz khalifa song is a pop-to-urban crossover radio-wise. it even went top 10 on the hot adult contemporary format before urban lol.

i stumbled across this article yesterday mentioning an emerging radio audience measurement device that would be competing w/ nielsen's ppm. ppm is the device that is mainly used now -- when it started getting put into use in the late 00s, ratings at many latin and urban stations were basically decimated immediately, which was obv controversial and delayed its rollout into many markets significantly. anyways i don't know much about the nitty-gritty of radio analytics so i have no idea how much is just hype/hot air, but the article makes it seem as tho the new competitor (voltair) may do a better job of measuring the audience for several stations that had been hurt by ppm in the past, at least well enough to convince some of the higher-ups at the stations. (the example they use is the smooth jazz format.)

idk here's the link http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/did-nielsen-kill-the-radio-star/

dyl, Friday, 10 July 2015 04:50 (9 months ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

Now 1 through 7. http://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100

skip, Friday, 31 July 2015 20:56 (9 months ago) Permalink

It would be cool if this extended to black women at all.

Sidenote: does radio play the Kendrick version of "Bad Blood" or the original?

drown zoowap (The Reverend), Saturday, 1 August 2015 04:44 (9 months ago) Permalink

I've heard the Kendrick version a lot on radio. I imagine it depends on the format.

Greer, Saturday, 1 August 2015 05:03 (9 months ago) Permalink

Yeah, I haven't heard it on the radio at all but I haven't listened to top 40 in quite a while.

drown zoowap (The Reverend), Saturday, 1 August 2015 05:07 (9 months ago) Permalink

here the adult contemporary stations play the sans-kendrick version and all the other stations that play it play the one with kendrick

dyl, Saturday, 1 August 2015 06:21 (9 months ago) Permalink

that was a bit of a shock.

Compare her streams (1.6 million) with Future at #2 (23 million)

let's not get too excited w/ the ouches (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 5 August 2015 01:39 (8 months ago) Permalink

She has a considerable fan base -- adult R&B is for Jill Scott fans.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 5 August 2015 01:41 (8 months ago) Permalink

sure, but zero currently charting singles!

let's not get too excited w/ the ouches (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 5 August 2015 01:57 (8 months ago) Permalink

Her audience doesn't care for singles though.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 5 August 2015 02:51 (8 months ago) Permalink

well clearly! it's just an interesting outlier.

let's not get too excited w/ the ouches (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 5 August 2015 04:47 (8 months ago) Permalink

for a min there it looked like fifth harmony might get into the top 10. alas...

J0rdan S., Wednesday, 5 August 2015 05:12 (8 months ago) Permalink

Purse too heavy.

Norse Jung (Eric H.), Wednesday, 5 August 2015 05:29 (8 months ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

Fetty Wap The rapper's first three hits rank at Nos. 8, 9 & 11, equaling an honor previously earned only by the Fab Four.

http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/chart-beat/6677761/hot-100-chart-moves-fetty-wap-beatles

curmudgeon, Friday, 28 August 2015 15:36 (8 months ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

The Weeknd retains the #1 spot on the Billboard Top 200 for a second week based entirely on streaming and "album equivalent units." He sold 77,000 CDs, while the metal band Five Finger Death Punch sold 114,000 CDs (which puts them at the top of the separate Top Album Sales chart, with The Weeknd at #2). But because of "album equivalent units," his total was adjusted to 145,000, while theirs only climbed to 119,000.

the top man in the language department (誤訳侮辱), Sunday, 13 September 2015 23:30 (7 months ago) Permalink

Chart News ‏@chartnews 55s55 seconds ago
Billboard On-Demand Songs: #1(=) What Do You Mean?, @justinbieber [9.5 million on-demand US streams]. *2 weeks at #1*

what is an on demand stream

J0rdan S., Monday, 14 September 2015 19:16 (7 months ago) Permalink

it just means Spotify, Tidal, etc. stuff where you pick the song you're listening to. i think they specify 'on demand' to differentiate from internet radio stuff like Pandora that picks songs for you.

some dude, Monday, 14 September 2015 19:31 (7 months ago) Permalink

4 weeks pass...

The entire top five on the Billboard 200 are R&B/hip-hop albums -- the first time the region has been dominated as such since the Jan. 13, 2007-dated chart. That week, Omarion’s 21 led the list, followed by Akon’s Konvicted, the Dreamgirls film soundtrack, Nas’ Hip Hop Is Dead and Young Jeezy’s The Inspiration.

The Reverend, Monday, 12 October 2015 08:31 (6 months ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

2 interesting paragraphs from Chris Molanphy's contribution to the Slate critics roundtable on 2015 music

Back to R&B crossover: When we convened for the Music Club two years ago, I marveled that no black artists fronted a No. 1 hit in all of 2013—a historic Hot 100 first. In 2015, we appear to have already flipped that script: Except for a single week when the Hot 100 was commanded by the Biebs’ “What Do You Mean?” and for the past seven weeks by Adele’s “Hello,” every chart-topping hit this year was fronted or prominently supported by an artist of color: Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” (a hit truly powered by Mars), Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s “See You Again,” Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar’s “Bad Blood” (without Lamar’s injection of B12 into the remix, the song might not have topped the chart), OMI’s “Cheerleader,” and the two big hits by the Weeknd, “Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills.”

The thing is, except for that latter Weeknd hit—the creepy “Hills,” not the MJ-esque “Can’t Feel My Face”—none of these songs was a chart-topper at black radio. Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay list—a radio-only chart that is now the only real way get a sense of what core R&B and hip-hop fans actually listen to—was topped all year by the likes of Big Sean and Rae Sremmurd and Jeremih and Meek Mill and Nicki Minaj (with the thumping “Truffle Butter,” not one of her pop-aimed tracks). None of these songs was a Top 10 pop hit; Jeremih’s “Planes” missed the pop Top 40 entirely. Whereas “Uptown Funk”—a 14-week Hot 100 chart-topper and a song so indebted to black-music history the Gap Band managed to shake it loose for some change—never came close to topping black radio playlists.

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/the_music_club/features/2015/music_club_2015/in_2015_black_artists_took_back_the_hot_100_pop_charts.html

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 22 December 2015 21:53 (4 months ago) Permalink

interesting perspective as molanphy's writing often is. kinda getting mixed evidence on his point about how crossover as we knew it "no longer exists" for black artists tho? like, he points out two songs that charted highly on the hot 100 and one that stalled as evidence for this, but in reality this is because the former two DID cross over while the other's airplay remained limited overwhelmingly to urban radio. songs succeeded or failed at crossing over before 2015 as well obv, and it still does take "weeks or months" for songs to migrate from urban to pop radio. he rightly acknowledges that streaming gives many r&b and rap acts an early boost on the charts now that they wouldn't have a few years ago, but that's across the board for all urban-radio hits, which tend to be heavily streamed compared to, say, adult contemporary ones. it's not like soundscan's accurate measurement of piece-counts allowing "tha crossroads" and such to zoom up the charts before pop radio got on board in the mid-90s meant that crossover stopped existing then either.

(also, pedantry alert, but he links to "all around the world" by lisa stansfield as an example of something migrating from pop radio to r&b, but the charts from the time show that it was actually one of rare examples of songs by white artists crossing in the other direction, from r&b radio to pop.)

dyl, Wednesday, 23 December 2015 08:34 (4 months ago) Permalink

this also overlooks the whiteness of singers working in r&b modes whose music gets played on pop radio. puth is the worst example, but there's also adele and meghan trainor...

maura, Wednesday, 23 December 2015 15:34 (4 months ago) Permalink

4 weeks pass...

The only contemporary rap/r&b radio station in Seattle just got demoted to a Tacoma signal so its existing Seattle signal can be turned over to top 40. :(

gaz "puffy" coombes (The Reverend), Wednesday, 20 January 2016 01:12 (3 months ago) Permalink

ugh

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 20 January 2016 01:13 (3 months ago) Permalink

It's even branded as a Tacoma station now. A friend of mine('s brother) got the best take:

https://twitter.com/ram0s206/status/689592333965262848

gaz "puffy" coombes (The Reverend), Wednesday, 20 January 2016 01:23 (3 months ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

Totally off topic but I stumbled upon this in my travels and figured I'd share.

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-rolling-stone-interview-ray-charles-19730118?page=9

Crazy Eddie & Jesus the Kid (Raymond Cummings), Thursday, 4 February 2016 01:26 (2 months ago) Permalink


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