Sunday, 14 October 2012

Country Billboard Chart News October 10, 2012

Country Billboard Chart News October 10, 2012

Rock band Muse earns its highest charting album ever as THE 2ND LAW debuts at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart. It wasn't enough to oust Mumford & Sons' "Babel" (169,000 sales, down 72%)  from the number one Billboard Top 200 slot.

Little Big Town's TORNADO still holds onto a top 10 and rises one spot to No. 8 with 31,000 (down 8% week on week). ). It's #1 on Billboard Top Country Albums for the fourth week

Carrie Underwood is back to #2 on the Country Chart with BLOWN AWAY. The album was recently certified Platinum for shipments (not retail sales) It displaces Jake Owen’s EP as the summer has certainly faded fast as ENDLESS SUMMER takes a drastic fall on the Top 200 from #19 to 108 (#2 - #21 Country placing) with a 75% sales loss selling 4K copies in its second retail week
The American public are not it seems at this stage looking beyond Thanks Giving as Blake Shelton’s first full-length Christmas album of 2012 debuts at #52 on the Top 200 giving him a #6 country bow with CHEERS, IT’S CHRISTMAS selling 8,906 copies.
Its available at Amazon UK CD Format

Scotty McCreery and Lady Antebellum will follow with their “early”seasonal offerings in successive weeks. Josh Turner’s LIVE ACROSS AMERICA moves back into the Country Album Top 10 with his Cracker Barrel exclusive live CD now digitally available.

Jerrod Niemann’s FREE THE MUSIC debuts at number 62 on the Top 200 with his Arista Nashville release. Its sales of 7K give him a Top 10 placing at #9 Country . His last album JUDGE JERROD & THE HUNG JURY which contained the hot single “Lover Lover” debuted at #1 on July 13, 2010 with sales of 34K Reviewing the album Taste Of Country writes:
An album cover has never represented the music it protects better than Jerrod Niemann‘s ‘Free the Music’ artwork. The ‘Shinin’ on Me’ singer’s sophomore project is a busy collection of instruments and themes that take some effort to sort through and enjoy….
At the end, it’s not clear who Niemann is. He still seems like a man willing to take creative risks in an active search for his voice. Sometimes, these risks distract one from the beauty of his vulnerabilities; pain gets buried beneath breezy melodies or carefree arrangements. It may be simply a matter of finding the perfect producer to work with. After all, it’s a tall task to write, perform and produce everything on your own.
“Free The Music” is available at: Amazon UK CD Format -  Amazon UK MP3 Download

Iris DeMent with her new album SING THE DELTA made its debut at #124 on the Top 200 with sales ranging from 3K to 4K and gains a #8 slot on The Billboard Folk Album chart. It marks a 16-year gap since her last album of original songs. She told Billboard she's been "waiting on this bunch of songs" for as long as fans have,  since 1996's "THE WAY I SHOULD." Billboard Story
Sing The Delta (Flariella) :  Amazon UK CD Format -  Amazon UK MP3 Download

One album which may make a showing on next weeks chart is Wanda Jackson’s brand new release  UNFINISHED BUSINESS on Sugar Hill Records which dropped on October 9th.

Billboard Top 200 (Country Album positions #1 - #22)

(TW) This Week, (LW) Last Week, Co (Country Album Chart placing)


Old School New Rules, no not a reference Hank Williams, Jr but a pointer to a week in the country music world where to some degree it has turned upside down and given a shake up when Billboard, the longest-running and most respected publisher of music charts, decided it was making sweeping changes to the way singles are judged in country music.
If Billboard’s new rules remain they will distort the way things were and have some far reaching and dramatic effects.

This week Billboard unveiled a new methodology for the long-standing Hot Country Songs, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Latin Songs charts. Each receive a major consumer-influenced face-lift, as digital download sales (tracked by Nielsen SoundScan) and streaming data (tracked by Nielsen BDS from such services as Spotify, Muve, Slacker, Rhapsody, Rdio and Xbox Music, among others) will now be factored into the 50-position rankings, along with existing radio airplay data monitored by Nielsen BDS. The makeovers will enable these charts to match the methodology applied to Billboard's signature all-genre songs ranking, the Billboard Hot 100.   (Read Billboard Biz Industry Story)

The Tradition Continues:Billboard Launches Comprehensive Country Songs List, Midweek Update
Billboard has delivered the world’s most trusted and most widely quoted country music charts for nearly seven decades, and the exhaustive work we’ve done during the past couple of years to revolutionize our country singles charts is realized today as we launch the most comprehensive, immediate and accurate country singles rankings since our first one rolled off the presses during World War II. From those first few country chart weeks in 1944—with dueling versions of “Pistol Packin’ Mama” by Al Dexter & His Troopers and Bing Crosby & the Andrews Sisters—to the phenomenal consumer penetration that lifts Taylor Swift’sWe Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” to No. 1 on the revised Hot Country Songs rankings today, Billboard again pioneers a new era in country music chart-keeping.
  • “The way people consume music continues to evolve, and as a result so do our charts, which now track the many new ways fans experience, listen to and buy music,” Billboard director of charts Silvio Pietroluongo says. “We’re proud to be offering updated country charts that better reflect the current music landscape.”

Previously ranked solely by Nielsen BDS-provided radio airplay data since 1990, Hot Country Songs receives this major face-lift. It makes sense that the radio portion of the new chart calculations includes airplay from the entire spectrum of monitored formats. Until now, only country stations contributed to the Hot Country Songs chart. The new methodology, which will utilize the Hot 100's formula of incorporating airplay from more than 1,200 stations of all genres monitored by BDS, will reward crossover titles receiving airplay on a multitude of formats.

The new chart picks up the entire 68-year country singles chart history, while the Country Airplay chart history encompasses the Nielsen BDS era, which began with the chart dated Jan. 20, 1990. While the new Hot Country Songs chart becomes the centerpiece country songs list in the Billboard print product, the Country Airplay chart remains the anchor chart for the Monday edition of Billboard Country Update. Serviced Thursday mornings, the new midweek Billboard Country Update includes the freshest Country Digital Songs and Top Country Albums lists.  (Billboard Country MidWeek Update)

An “unconfirmed formula” as to how the points system is deduced is as follows:
200,000 sales = 200 x 1 points / 100 million airplay = 100 x 1.5 points /
750,000 on-demand stream = 750 * 0.1 points

Assume a song get 200,000 sales, 100 million airplay and 750,000 on-demand stream, its break down is:
sales: 200 points + airplay: 150 points  + on-demand stream: 75 points = 425 points total
Look at Flo Rida as a "typical" high charting song.
200,000 sales = 200 x 1 = 200 points (49% sales)
90 million airplay = 90 x 1.5 (or 1.6%) = 135 points (33% airplay)
750,000 on-demand = 750 x 0.1 (or 0.08%) = 75 points (18% ODS)
= 410 points total.
It fluctuates depending on sales/airplay/on-demand ratio.

  • Should Billboard change the way songs are classified?
  • Should it be based on the artist's genre or the songs genre credibilty?
  • Are Digital sales charts a better reflection of taste?
  • Is streaming of music a better guide as to what the public is playing rather than a Country station programmer /DJ determining what its radio station listeners actually hear?
  • Is it a good thing that it gives less power to radio stations (payola pushes?) and teams of people at major labels who push artists songs? Of course without radio its listeners might not be aware of a new single and thus not buy it which would hinder an artists best placement on the Digital Charts 
Old Rules / New Rules
Old Rules: Positions on charts like Country Songs were determined by airplay supplied by Nielsen BDS. The panel for these airplay stations were ONLY genre specific. For “Country Songs” ONLY reporting country stations account for the airplay.
New Rules: Positions on the charts above are determined by airplay supplied by Nielsen BDS. The panel now is the Hot 100 panel. Songs now collect these new "Crossover points"along with Digital Sales and Streaming data now accounting into a song's chart ranking unlike before.

Phew are you still awake! So its all change on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart.

The Effects
The immediate beneficiaries of this week's methodology is Taylor Swift.
Billboard must ultimately determine what is and is not a specific genre.
Billboard classifies Taylor Swift's songs as Country, hence her inclusion on Country Songs.
Taylor Swift's song “WANEGBT" now hits the number 1 on the newly compiled Billboard Country Songs chart. Most of the airplay for that song appears to comes from Pop stations rather than the Country stations.
The iTunes track , the pop mix, its genres states : Country, Music, Rock
A country version of the song did however exist. The song saw some rejection by country radio and now tops the chart because of the additional digital sales and streaming data.
In the week of August 22nd “Never” it was a Hot Shot Debut/Greatest Gainer and bowed at No. 13 (its previous highest peak position).
In its second week it dropped to #19. However in eight retail weeks it has sold in buckets, breaking records with a 2,208,000 digital downloads haul to date and currently holds a #2 slot on the Country Digital Chart.
So if Billboard are “never ever ever getting back together” to how things were then retail will have more influence than country airplay to land a number one.
A country song has taken over 40 weeks in slowly make its way up to a Top 5 or number placement. Quite often after a song made the number one or has been “pushed” as far it will go a few weeks later will see it “pulled” by the record label and no longer show on the Hot Country Songs Chart  

Taylor Swift at #1, #2 & #10 on The  Hot Country Songs

Taylor now holds down the top two slots on Hot Country Songs:
"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" is at #1 (It was at #36 on the Billboard Country Airplay Chart Oct 8, 2010) "Never" also charts at #5 Hot 100, #36 Country Airplay Charts, #2 Country Digital Songs Chart, #5 Pop Songs Chart and #49 Latin Airplay.
The single in is 8th chart week was #15 two weeks ago dropped to #21 last week and this week hits the #1 slot!
The No. 1 now gets its points associated with its pop-crossover play and No. 1 on Country Digital Songs

Taylors’ title cut and last weeks new single "Red" debuts at #2 in its first week. "Red" also charts at #6 Hot 100, #1 Country Digital Songs Chart, #2 Digital Songs Chart ( Note - It is NOT on the Country Airplay Chart)

 Her new country radio single "Begin Again" jumps from #37 to #10 (It was at #29 on the Billboard Country Airplay Chart Oct 8, 2010). It gains bonus points as a No. 3 song on  the Country Digital Songs
"Begin Again" also chart at #52 Hot 100, #29 Country Airplay Charts, #3 Country Digital Songs Chart, #12 Digital Songs Chart.

"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" was written by Taylor Swift with Max Martin and Shellback. It was released as the lead single from Swift's forthcoming fourth studio album RED on August 13, 2012 by Big Machine Records.
The song was an instant commercial success, topping the iTunes chart all over the world becoming the fastest-selling digital single and biggest digital sales week ever for a song by a woman in history with 623,000 copies. The song received mixed reviews from music critics.

Taste Of Country wrote: Men and women will be divided on ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,’ Taylor Swift‘s new single. On one (woman’s) hand, it’s an empowering breakup song that slams the door on every no-good loser who’s come crawling back with apologies and “I love yous” (and maybe flowers or a sack of White Castle hamburgers) at all hours of the night. From the male perspective: “Get over it.”

Swift captures the anger of young love gone wrong better than anyone since, well… Taylor Swift. She is the duchess of disdain. Scorn pours through each note and every breath of this first single from her upcoming ‘Red’ album.

Entertainment Weekly praised it for its “undeniable, instantly catchy hook” and “festive flair.”

According to Time, the song “will certainly be the newest, most popular breakup anthem.”

Billboard praised both the song and Taylor saying:“with ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,’ Swift expands an already impressive songwriting range to incorporate a biting sarcasm within her deep-rooted confidence.”

[LISTEN] Taylor Swift - "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"
Available to download from:

Florida Georgia Line
Duo Florida Georgia Line (Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley), also from the Republic Nashville/Big Machine Label group saw their debut singleCruise” received Gold certification (selling over 500,000 copies) this week, the same day as the kickoff to their current “CMT ON TOUR” with RCA Nashville Artist Jake Owen.
This week “Cruise” sold another 68,000 copies and is #4 on the Digital chart. It stood at #17 on the country Airplay chart. The combination saw them leap up 12 placings to #6 on Hot Country Songs.

Gary Allan with “Every Storm” (Runs Out Of Rain) made big moves from #36 to #20. His 49K debut sales gave him a #7 Country Digital Chart bow and has a No.31 Country Airplay place.

Jana Kramer who looked like she had a shot at a first #1 with Why Ya Wannadropped down #3 to #11. After 42 chart weeks she holds a #4 Country Airplay position but her retail sales of 14,000 this week gives her a #28 Country Digital slot which offsets her Hot Country Song Chart (HCS) hopes!

Dustin Lynch with “Cowboys And Angels” may have been gearing up for a number one this week but he falls from #2 to #7 on HCS. Despite his #3 Country Airplay chart ranking his sales of 26K could not compete with the mighty debut sales of Taylor Swift’s “Red” (312K)  which displaces him.
Miranda Lambert with “Fastest Girl In Town” could not rack up the necessary points and took a tumble of 7 places to fall to #16 on HCS. The reason was it remained static at #9 on the Country Airplay but after 21 weeks her 14,000 retail numbers means she dropped to #25 on the Digital chart.

Will Taylor Swift’s new dub-step single “I Knew You Were Trouble” released this week make a big impact HCS next week! With genre charts like Country counting airplay from all formats it means crossover hits are highly probably.
  • How will record labels react to the new Billboard points system?
  • Will marketing procedures change in order to get an artist their best possible HCS shot?!
  • Did the Big Machine Label Group get wind of the Billboard changes? Releasing 4 singles from Taylor’s album RED since August has now paid of handsomely in terms of promoting the album and scoring hits with country radios full backing.
  • Will we have 2 weekly charts a Billboard Country Airplay one followed by the Hot Country Songs?
  • Which one will country radio programmers refer to when running down their weekly Top 10 countdown?
 For “country” artists who can achieve strong airplay on country/pop/rock stations and can combine this with impressive digital sales and streaming will see their song rocket up the chart or debut very high!
Fact - Country Radio airplay is no longer the only barometer for Hot Country Songs chart success.
Some country music traditionlists may pour scorn on this weeks’ events -
Is this the final nail in the Billboard coffin for them?

Top 25 Hot Country Songs

Taylor Swift with ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” jumps up from #21 to Top The Chart!
Taylor Swift with “Red” debuts at #2
Carrie Underwood with “Blown Away” moves up one, #4 - #3
Hunter Hayes with former number one “Wanted” is up, #5 - #4
Jason Aldean with last weeks #1 “Take A Little Ride” falls to #5
Florida Georgia Line with “Cruise” leaps up 13 places,  #19 - #6
Dustin Lynch with “Cowboys And Angels” is down 5 spots, #2 - #7
Luke Bryan with “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye” is up #10 - #8
Lee Brice with “Hard To Love” is down three, #6 -#9
Taylor Swift with “Begin Again” is up 27 places, #37 - #10
Jana Kramer with “Why Ya Wanna” drops 8 places, #3 - #11
Jake Owen with “The One That Got Away” is down four, #8 - #12
Easton Corbin with “Lovin’ You Is Fun” falls from #7 - #13
Rascal Flatts with “Come Wake Me Up” is down two slots, #12 -#14
Tim McGraw with “Truck Yeah’ is down 4 postions, #11 - #15
Miranda Lambert with “Fastest Girl In Town” falls,  #9 -#16
Brad Paisley with “Southern Comfort Zone” re-enters at #17
Eric Church with “Creepin” is down five places, #13 - #18
Kip Moore with “Beer Money” is down three places, #16 - #19
Gary Allan with “Every Storm” (Runs Out Of Rain) jumps up from #36 - #20
Justin Moore with “Til My Last Day” drops from #15 - #21
Greg Bates with “Did It For The Girl” falls from #14 - #22
Jerrod Niemann with “Shinin’ On Me” is down seven slots, #17 -#23
Randy Houser with “How Country Feels” is down two, #22 - #24
Kenny Chesney with “El Cerrito Place” drops 5 slots, #20 -#25

Country Songs
*** No. 1 *** "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” Taylor Swift
Greatest Gainer/Streaming No. 6  “Cruise  Florida Georgia Line
Greatest Gainer/Digital No.19 “Beer Money” Kip Moore
Greatest Gainer/ Airplay No. 28 “Goodbye In Her Eyes” Zac Brown Band
Debut No.2 “Red” Taylor Swift
Debut No. 33 “Missin’ You Crazy” Jon Pardi
Debut No.34 “Ronan” Taylor Swift
Debut No. 35 “Summer Jam” Jake Owen featuring Florida Georgia Line
Debut No. 47 “Get Your Shine On” Florida Georgia Line
Debut No. 49 “ Outta My Head” Craig Campbell

TOP DIGITAL SINGLES in Country Music (10 October 2012)

Taylor Swift dominates the chart with 4 songs on the Top 20 and she holds the Top three on this week’s Top 30 Country Digital Songs Chart. Her single "Red" which was released on Oct 2nd lands at No. 2 on the all genre Digital Songs Chart and bows in at #1 on Country chart with 312,000 sales. UK boy band One Direction's "Live While We're Young" kept her off the top spot as they crashed in at No. 1 with 341,000 downloads sold.
The title track “Red” from her upcoming album, due out Oct. 22, is the third pre-release single from the set.  Last weeks #1 "Begin Again," which launched with 299,000 sales drops to #3 with a sales loss of 70% selling 99K in its second retail week.
Meanwhile the album lead off smash single We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” stays at #2 with sales in its 8th chart week of 149K and a total haul of 2.2 million.
Next week could see Taylor holding all four top placings. Her fourth song “I Knew You Were Trouble  from RED was released to iTunes on October 8. Strangely tagged “country” although it’s a ‘dubstep’ creation it will qualify for a chart place and currently holds #1 on iTunes ahead of Adeles’ new penned James Bond title theme song “Skyfall”

Carrie Underwood’sBlown Away” rounds out the Top 5. Her sales this week of 62K take her over 1-million digital singles, her second platinum single following on from “Good Girl” from the album BLOWN AWAY.
Hunter Hayes with “Wanted”, now his signature tune,  dropped from #3 to #6, but with another 58,000 sold he can celebrate passing the 1.5 million mark sold.

Gary Allan debuts at #7 selling 49K copies of  Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain)”
Brad Paisley’s latest lead off single “Southern Comfort Zone” faired less well selling 40K copies and bows at #9

Riser Of The Week belongs to Kip Moore  with “Beer Money” which surpassed the 100,000 sold mark and moved up from # 26 to #17

Luke Bryan’s  Drunk On You” song reached the double platinum this milestone this week (2,003,000 sold to date) becoming his second platinum hit after “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)”

Goodbye In Her Eyes” for Zac Brown Band made a debut at #43
Faith Hill’s first retail week is disappointing with a lowly #63 place with over 6,000 singles sold for her new song “American Heart.”
Craig Campbell selling over 5,000 singles debuted at #74 with “Outta My Head”.

Possible debut singles next week apart from Miss Swifts“I Knew You Were Trouble” could be :
Brett Eldredge “Don’t Ya”, Uncle Kracker - “Nobody’s Sad On A Saturday Night” and Hayden Panettiere - “Love Like Mine” (From TV Show “Nashville”)

(LW) Last Week (TW) This Week (Figures rounded to nearest thousandth)

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