We’ve heard it so many times. “This song is currently no. 4 on the Billboard Charts” or “This album made it to the top of the Billboard Charts” in this year or that. But do we actually know what it means?
In different parts of the world and over the past decades, the Billboard Charts are often quoted when it comes to ranking music releases in terms of record sales and radio airplay. With everything going digital, the mechanics have slightly changed but the number one rule hasn’t: Billboard is in the know when it comes to knowing what everyone is listening to, and continues to serve as the benchmark for other listings and for music sharing platforms as well.
With the launch of BillboardPH last year, a more qualified approach to assessing the musical preferences of listeners in the country was born. Billboard Charts in the Philippines are based on streams and local consumption, with the figures determined by Nielsen Music through data gathered from Apple iTunes, Spotify and YouTube.
“Billboard is the only entity where all three companies who normally don’t share their data, share it for Billboard,” BillboardPH chief marketing officer Twinky Lagdameo said.
The collation of online data from these sources is a definite advantage even to independent musicians, because as long as a band or artist makes an effort to share music through the above-mentioned platforms and people listen, there’s a chance for them to get under the radar and to hopefully be included in the Billboard Charts.
“It’s a big rallying point for local fans to really support local artists. To really stream and listen, and listen as much as they can so that they will get tracked alongside all the international acts. The whole point is to get them on the charts,” Lagdameo explained.
BillboardPH’s presence has remained within the confines of its online platform—until recently.
To let the Filipino public experience what Billboard is all about, BillboardPH, for the first time, held a series of on-ground events at the Ayala Malls.
PlaySound, the BillboardPH Music Trip is a digital interactive exhibit that showcases music on the Billboard charts from every decade and across various genres.
The exhibit includes a giant interactive TV that allows the user to pick and play songs from his or her chosen decade in the Billboard Charts, as well as standalone sound and video displays of stories on the music from every era, from the ’60s to the new millennium.
BillboardPH isn’t merely concerned with determining who tops the charts or otherwise; part of its mission is to help promote original Filipino music through championing local artists.
BillboardPH serves this purpose through featuring mostly homegrown talent on its website, and through showcasing them in a series of pocket concerts during the PlaySound events.
Among those who performed on stage for BillboardPH PlaySound are Itchyworms, Ben & Ben, Eunice of Gracenote, Leanne and Naara, Gab and John of Urbandub.
Ryan Cayabyab, Elmo Magalona, 6Cyclemind’s Tutti Caringal, Karylle, Sam Concepcion and Christian Bautista also graced the events.
Very soon, Filipino artists will have a wider platform to showcase their music. According to Lagdameo, Billboard US has agreed to allocate a portion of its website for Filipino artists.
BillboardPH PlaySound was held in partnership with the Ayala Malls as part of their “PLAY” summer campaign.