Even though the song has been out for a while, (It first appeared on YouTube in June of 2016), the track has been powered by the Baby Shark dance challenge and high streaming numbers. The video has over 2.1 billion views!
It takes some serious AB’s to make it all through this challenge. Ow!!!!
So how does a song “Make The Billboard Chart”??
Kathleen Parrish says there are 3 ways:
If a song is repeatedly played on the radio, you can bet it’s on the charts. If you’re new to getting airplay, make sure you familiarize yourself with the process. Airplay is tracked through Broadcast Data Systems (BDS). BDS uses digital pattern-recognition technology to identify songs that air on radio and TV channels across the United States and Canada. This process is done 24/7 and captures over 100 million songs annually.The data from BDS is used not only by Billboard, but also by radio stations, record company executives, publishing firms, performance rights organizations, music retailers, and film and TV producers.
2. Social media and streaming
In recent years, Billboard has also considered streaming and social interactions on Twitter, Facebook, Vevo, YouTube, Spotify, and other popular music websites like Slacker and Rdio. YouTube was the most recent addition to tracking plays, which worked well for American DJ Baauer. He released his song “Harlem Shake” in 2012, having almost no airplay until it became an internet meme in early 2013. This sent Baauer’s song straight to the top of the Hot 100 chart for five consecutive weeks. According to Billboard, it was “the first song to start at the summit by an artist essentially unknown prior to charting.”
Since Billboard takes social media and streaming into consideration, make sure you’re engaging your fans and mentioning your music. Reaching out to fans through social media and having them hashtag your album or track is a great marketing technique to drive album sales and move songs up the charts.
3. Album sales
Billboard uses Nielsen SoundScan, which is an information system that tracks sales of music and music videos in the United States and Canada. By scanning the bar codes, the system collects sales information from over 14,000 retail and nontraditional sources such as online stores and concert sales. If you’re an independent musician, you absolutely must get a UPC code for your album. Aside from the ability to sell the album in stores, you increase your chance of moving towards the charts. To become a Heatseeker, you need to sell, on average, 450 to 500 albums in the first week. A great way to increase the likelihood of entering the charts is with a pre-order of your album, since all sales prior to the actual release date of the album count as first week sales.
Having a song chart on a Billboard chart as an indie artist is absolutely not impossible, especially if you’re an active, touring musician with a strong fanbase. And, though these three areas aren’t the only ones taken into consideration when ranking songs and albums, they can give any artist a boost. Landing on Billboard when you’re an independent or rising artist is no easy task, but once you’ve reached the charts, the opportunities are endless.