As some of you might know, I used to be in music industry. First I was a product manager for bands like Radiohead, Foo Fighters and the Beastie Boys and later I became the head of Marketing & Promotion for EMI Music Netherlands.

So, you understand why I was intrigued by this news:

Billboard Social 50

Billboard has introduced a Social Media Chart

The interesting thing is that this chart is not about sales or radio airplay. This chart is about how engaged music fans are with the music of the artist.

The Billboard Hot 100 already ranks songs based on a mix of radio airplay, sales of downloads as well as online airplay.

It’s my prediction that the data from the Billboard Social 50 will eventually become an integral part of the Billboard Hot 100 as well. After all, this also happened to the ‘Download charts’ when they were introduced a few years ago.

So, what does this mean?

In the old days you needed a record company because they provided you with a top notch radio promotor that would get your single played on radio. That would get you in the charts.

With the introduction of this Social Media Chart – and it’s inevitable integration into the Billboard Hot 100 – it seems there are now different ways to get into the charts!

Advice to artists

My advice to artists: start connecting with your fans now in social networks. Actively engage in conversation with them. Find out what content they want and give it to them.

Your fans will then start talking about you on Twitter. They will share your YouTube videos with each other on Facebook. Share your music via Spotify playlists. Recommend your music via or Grooveshark.

Pretty soon – if you are not engaging with your fans online – your music will not be in any charts ….

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