Let’s Talk: Have Music Charts Become Pointless?


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Music Charts: Are they needed?

Back before the undisputed champions of music streaming powerhouses were evident in our music industry, we understood who reigned supreme at the top of the food chain that one week because of music charts. But as we become more complicated with more and more artists sharing the same streaming numbers in the millions, it seems it has become harder to tell who is top in the charts. And above all else, does it really matter now?

How we are consuming our music has changed. Radio plays and CD purchases no longer become important in calculating the music charts. Ever since Billboard starting taking streaming numbers and plays via the Internet into account when working out the chart spots, the shift in power changed. I don’t know if I feel this way because I’m older, but there was a certain feeling of trepidation and excitement every Sunday when they announced the Top 40 Charts for the week. Now, I barely give it a moment’s notice and it rarely pops up in any important music feed.

The Complication of MANY Charts

Usually, it is used in a passing comment within a conversation that is more important. A conversation probably about the streaming giants of Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and Deezer. The more charts there is, the less it means for all us. If an artist tops the YouTube’s video charts, but barely scrapes the top 20 in Spotify’s weekly, are more or less popular who is in the number eight spot? It seems that charts have become more how popular from one site is to another, and measures the rate of consumption as opposed to measuring the popularity of music artists. The key demographic changes, and with it, the workings out of music charting.

Is it just me or are music charts pointless to view – or do they still give people an inclination into what’s popular?

I feel that people have become more self-aware and now make up their own opinions over what is “popular” or not.

4 responses to “Let’s Talk: Have Music Charts Become Pointless?”

  1. Valheru Rides! avatar
    Valheru Rides!

    Music charts are pointless for all the reasons mentioned but also for the increasing division of genres. The genres on public radio are now so confined that many either don’t listen or stream what they want to hear further narrowing. With sales figures dropping years before the move to streaming I believe the real difference actually has it’s roots in how the market communicates to it’s fans.

    Now when an artist drops an album it’s all over their social media way before it has been played on any chart, fans are probably already viewing the simultaneously released video on YouTube before it’s single us available for purchase. By the time it can chart conventionally the next band has done the same.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. manvmusic avatar

      Yeah, you’re spot on with that. The consumption of music has changed the way artists share their content to us, that’s for sure. Competition drives it all the way! What a troubling perspective on this; thanks for the insight. Oh, and for stopping by, too. Always appreciate the topics spoken about.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. anoceanroars avatar

    I agree that they are pointless today. I used to listen to it every week when it was more of an event and I wanted to hear my favourite song climb to the top.
    Today, I have too many places to access music and I don’t care where it comes on the charts.
    Another thing that is ridiculous to me is the awards for music, television, and films. I stopped watching all those programmes in the last few years. I don’t get an award for doing my work.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. manvmusic avatar

      Yeah no you’re spot on with that. Too much access results in less importance to it all. Plus, award shows are just a way for the elite celebrities to dazzle and forget about everyone else for a night, too. It’s a travesty really!

      Liked by 2 people

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