Do the Billboard Charts Accurately Represent the Music Industry Anymore?

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From Mariah Carey to the Beatles, the Billboard charts have long been a who’s who of all the biggest names in music. Often, a chart-topping hit — or album — can even boost an artist’s Grammy nomination chances. But just as pop music changes with the times, so have the ways we listen to it. And that’s created some issues with Billboard’s ability to formulate accurate charts.

After all, measuring the Hot 100 becomes much more complicated when fans aren’t just buying music, but streaming it. Not to mention, Billboard, which has been the authority on song popularity since 1940, is about to have some stiff competition. Vanity Fair reports that beloved music publication Rolling Stone will launch its own charts — charts that promise to be more representative than Billboard’s, because "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." All of this to say, the days of the Billboard charts’ authority — and necessity — may be coming to an end.