How A Song Becomes a Number One Single in the U.S.
Many record companies promote their artists’ or band’s material by plastering a “Number One Smash” or “Number One Single” sticker on their albums or singles. But that depends on what barometer of success they are using. It could be a Number One song on a local station, such as KIIS FM’s Jojo’s Top 9 @ 9 countdown, or it could be a Number One Country Song on the Country Charts. It could also be a Number One on the Rock Charts, R & B Charts, and so on. In the United States, there is only one legitimate barometer of success, a chart that truly encompasses all genres of music and determines which truly is the number one song in the country, and that is the Billboard Hot 100 chart. But how is a song able to reach the pinnacle of the chart? Billboard uses several factors to determine the position of each song on the chart and is updated weekly. Digital downloads, radio airplay, streaming points, single sales, and Youtube views all determine the position of each song on the chart, and the combination of all these data defines what is truly a number one smash single or hit song.
Many have managed to reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in the fifty plus years since the existence of it. The chart was first introduced in August 1958, and like many things since then, has evolved over time. Obviously there was no digital downloading until the new millenium began, and even then, downloading music through Itunes and other similar services did not become truly popular until the latter half of the past decade, from 2005 and after. Also, the music industry has drastically changed, even from just ten years ago, so naturally the manner in which a song goes to number one today will not be the same process as it was back in say 1998, 1983, 1966, or 1958. Having said that, let’s get on with how exactly a song goes on to become such a huge hit in modern times. First off, the point of releasing a single is to promote an...
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