Rolling Stone will soon launch a new music charts initiative in hopes of competing with Billboard‘s long-running service of quantifying sales of recorded music. According to a report shared by Vanity Fair on Tuesday, Rolling Stone, the famous music publication which launched out of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury scene in the late-1960s to become an industry leader in pop culture and news reporting, will start publishing its own music charts beginning next Monday, May 13th.
Like Billboard, the new “Rolling Stone Charts” will look to rank the top 100 singles and the top 200 albums sold in the United States. Unlike Billboard‘s industry-leading charts, Rolling Stone‘s singles chart will be updated on a daily basis rather than weekly. Rolling Stone will also make a point to include more in-depth streaming data as more consumers turn to platforms like Spotify and Apple Music for their music rather than the iTunes Store or even big-box retailers. Rolling Stone will also look to offer more transparency for artists and consumers in terms of how their chart rankings are determined.
The other three new charts set to launch on Monday include “Rolling Stone Artist 500,” which will rank the most-streamed artists; the “Rolling Stone Trending 25,” listing the fastest-moving songs based on a number of metrics; and the “Rolling Stone Breakthrough 25,” which will highlight artists entering the charts for the first time.
The announcement from the long-running publication shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering the growing need for major media outlets to adjust their focus and overall service plans as the journalism industry at large continues to redefine itself. Rolling Stone‘s choice of launching another set of charts, however, just seems, lame. After all, unless you’re a professional statistician or Kent Davidson from VEEP, there’s nothing really Rock and Roll about statistically quantifying art.
“PMC’s strategy is to constantly evolve our brands and products across media platforms,” PMC CEO Jay Penske told Variety. “What’s imperative and exciting about our new Rolling Stone Charts is that it will present a transparent, granular and real-time quantification to accurately reflect listeners’ evolving interests and give insight into worldwide trends.”
Longtime readers of Rolling Stone had to know that some drastic changes were coming when Penske Media Corporation purchased controlling interest in the publication two years ago. With the drastic shift in readership habits forcing even the biggest media brands to redefine their mission statements, one has to wonder why the need for more data-driven initiatives in an era when recorded music continues to lose its monetary value.