Singing News to launch Weekly Top 40 chart in January
Singing News announced this morning that, come January 2012, they will be launching a weekly spin-based Top 40 radio airplay chart. (UPDATE, 11:56 AM: Danny Jones confirms that this will be in addition to the monthly chart.)
While I’m open to hearing cases to the contrary, my initial reaction is that, on the whole, this is a great thing for our genre. First, it will be entirely spin-based, eliminating the possibility of radio stations handing in a chart that does not reflect actual airplay.
Second, other genres, like Contemporary Christian Music, moved from a monthly chart to a weekly chart decades ago, and there is a sense in which this is what the music industry expects to see in a professional genre.
Third, since this will be based on actual spins, there will undoubtedly be far less time between a chart’s appearance and the charting period the chart represents. As we all know, due to print deadlines, Singing News posts the November chart a full month early, October 1, and even then, it’s reflecting a charting period several weeks before that. Under this new system, the time a song peaks on the charts will likely be far closer to the time it peaks in actual radio airplay.
Fourth, and most important: For better or for worse, this increased fluidity will likely allow songs to move up and down the chart faster. There is a down-side, in that there are occasional songs which deserve to be on the charts even longer than they are now. But, by and large, this will be a very good thing, and here’s why: When groups are selecting songs for an album, they know that they will only be able to send two or three (or, on rare occasion, four) songs to radio. So, right now, before a group heads into the studio, they have to find at least three songs which they are confident are good enough to go to radio. Just imagine what it could do for album quality if groups had to make sure they had six single-worthy songs before heading into the studio!