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Empowering STAYPart 1

Arm Yourselves, Help Empower STAYs Everywhere!


Introduction to Music Charts

Music charts are rankings of recorded songs and albums to reflect each era’s trends of music consumption, based on criteria such as:

  • Physical and digital sales

  • Over-the-air radio airplay/online radio streaming

  • Digital streams

  • YouTube video streaming data

Knowing what’s trending across their listener base helps artists and record labels assess the reaction to their music and plan proper promotional and marketing campaigns. It can also give artists a foothold in a hyper-competitive industry.

Since 1913, when Billboard magazine began publishing rankings based on sales and AM/FM radio airplay, music charts have given insight into consumers’ leanings, even with the advent of digital streaming platforms, online sales tracking



  • Airplay: The frequency with which a song is played on the radio. It’s a significant factor in determining chart positions.

  • Album Chart: A ranking of albums rather than individual songs, usually based on sales and streams.

  • Breakout Artist: An artist who is gaining rapid popularity and is expected to achieve significant chart success.

  • Certified: Recognition of a certain number of sales or streams, often leading to certifications like Gold, Platinum, or Diamond.

  • Chart Run: The performance of a song or album over a period on the chart, often tracked by weeks and peak positions.

  • Chart: A ranking of music based on popularity, sales, radio airplay, and/or streaming activity.

  • Crossover: When a song or artist becomes popular across multiple music genres and charts.

  • Debut: The first appearance of a song or album on a chart.

  • Digital Downloads: Tracks that are purchased and downloaded from online music stores such as iTunes.

  • Digital Sales: Purchases and downloads of music tracks or albums from online stores.

  • GP: Initialism of “general public,” to indicate casual listeners rather than fans of a group or genre.

  • Peak Position: The highest rank achieved by a song or album on a chart.

  • Physical Sales: Purchases of music in formats such as CDs, vinyl records, and cassettes.

  • Re-entry: When a song or album that has previously charted returns to the chart.

  • Sales: The number of copies sold of a single or album, including physical and digital sales.

  • Single: A song released separately from an album, often used to promote the album.

  • Streaming: The practice of listening to music via online platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. Streaming numbers are now a major component of chart rankings.

  • Top 40: Refers to the 40 most popular songs or singles on a music chart.

  • User Engagement: The interaction and activity of users with music content across various platforms, including social media, streaming services, and music websites. User engagement can include activities such as likes, shares, comments, playlist additions, and repeat streams. High levels of user engagement can indicate a song or artist's popularity and influence their performance on music charts.

  • Year-End Chart: A summary of the top songs or albums over an entire year, based on performance across all weeks.


Understanding Metrics & Their Use in Chart Calculations

Metrics Overview

Chart-Specific Metrics

  • Billboard Hot 100: Combines digital sales, radio airplay, and streaming data to rank the top 100 songs in the U.S.

  • Billboard 200: Combines album sales, TEA, and SEA to rank the top 200 albums in the U.S.

  • Global Charts: Metrics vary by country but typically include a combination of sales, airplay, and streaming.

Sales Equivalents

  • Track Equivalent Album (TEA): A metric that equates 10 digital track sales to one album unit.

  • Streaming Equivalent Album (SEA): A metric that equates a certain number of streams (1,250 premium audio streams, 3,750 ad-supported/video streams) to one album unit.

Radio Airplay

  • Radio Airplay: Measures the frequency with which a song is played on various radio stations, either over-the-air or online. This data is collected from radio networks and stations and includes different formats such as pop, rock, country, and urban.

  • TV Airplay: The number of times a song's music video is played on music television channels.


  • On-Demand Streaming: Tracks the number of times a song is played on-demand on streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. This includes both audio and video streams.

  • Programmed Streaming: Plays on online radio and other non-interactive streaming services such as free or ad-supported Pandora tiers, where the user doesn't select each song.

Sales and Downloads

  • Physical Sales: The number of physical copies sold, including CDs, vinyl records, and cassettes. These sales are tracked through retail stores and online vendors.

  • Digital Sales: The number of tracks or albums sold through online platforms such as iTunes, Amazon Music, Qobuz and 7Digital. Digital sales are tracked by downloads.

User Engagement

  • Social Media Activity: Measures how often a song or artist is mentioned, shared, or discussed on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. This can include likes, shares, comments, and hashtags.

  • Fan Interaction: Engagement metrics from music platforms, including playlist additions, favorites, and repeat plays.

























Impacting Charts

Introduction to Direct and Indirect Impact

Music charting can be affected either directly or indirectly, depending on how an artist’s success is measured and influenced. In summary, direct impact involves measurable actions like sales and streams, while indirect impact encompasses broader strategies that shape an artist’s overall chart trajectory. Both aspects work together to determine an artist’s position on music charts

Direct Impact

Direct impact refers to the immediate and quantifiable effects that specific actions or events have on an artist’s chart performance. Some examples are:

  • Sales: When fans purchase an artist’s music (digitally or physically), it directly contributes to their chart position.

  • Streaming: Each stream of a song directly affects its ranking on streaming platforms, which in turn impacts the charts.

  • Radio Airplay: The number of times a song is played on radio stations directly influences its chart performance.

All of these actions are measured directly in terms of units (e.g., sales units, streaming units).

Indirect Impact

Indirect impact refers to less immediate but still influential factors that shape an artist’s overall chart success. Some examples are:

  • Cross-Platform Trends: These trends indirectly impact music charts by reflecting global music consumption patterns, viral trends, and an artist’s engagement with fans. For example, when a track trends on TikTok, it can contribute to a rise in the artist’s profile, as was the case with artists Maggie Lindemann and CADE when the track Pretty Girl — Cheat Codes X CADE Remix trended on TikTok.

  • User Engagement on Music Platforms: Some actions that contribute toward this are likes, comments, shares, or adding songs to a playlist. Doing so can potentially boost the visibility of a song or artist, in addition to directly influencing platform-specific music charts. 

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Impacting Charts

Since charting takes into account multiple factors such as sales, streaming and radio airplay, it’s possible for high-ranking singles or albums to be driven by one or all of these factors. Some can be because of extensive radio airplay, while others are due to high streaming. Chart success often leads to more opportunities, such as awards, collaborations, and media coverage.


Also referred to as pure/traditional sales, physical and digital sales refer to the direct purchase of music albums or songs.

Physical Sales

Pure physical sales include CDs, vinyl records, and cassette tapes, and influence charting through:

  • Sales Volume: The number of physical copies sold (such as CDs, vinyl records, and cassette tapes).

  • Weighted Points: Music charts assign points based on sales. For example, a single sale might be equivalent to a certain number of points. These points accumulate over time, affecting the overall chart score.

  • Chart Eligibility: To qualify for charts, songs often need a minimum number of physical sales within a specific time frame (e.g., a week).

  • Limited Editions and Bundles: Special editions, limited releases, and bundled packages (e.g., album + merchandise).Retail Partnerships: Collaborations with retailers (both online and brick-and-mortar) or exclusive releases or promotions at specific stores.

Examples of where to purchase physicals:

  • Online at retailers such as Target, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon (use only official listings, usually included on the Stray Kids preorder link page)

  • Artist’s official website (i.e., Stray Kids Shop) (note that as of June 2023, only physical single sales from an artist’s own website will count towards the Billboard Hot 100 )

Pure digital sales encompass digital purchases, such as buying an album on iTunes. They influence charting via:

  • Digital Downloads: When fans purchase songs or albums online (e.g., on iTunes) that can be downloaded onto devices such as smartphones or computers.

  • Single Sales: Buying individual songs (singles).

Examples of where to purchase digital songs or albums:

  • iTunes: iTunes Store (either on the iOS app or via Windows or Mac)

  • Amazon Music

  • Qobuz

  • 7Digital

  • Artist’s official website (i.e., Stray Kids Shop) (note that as of June 2023, only physical single sales from an artist website will count towards the Billboard Hot 100 )

  • Stationhead (during buying parties)

Digital Sales

Methods for Artists to Boost Sales

  • Offer preorder benefits, such as signed albums or retailer-exclusive photocards. 

  • Release single songs prior to/after the album release to promote the longevity of the album.

  • Unveil content prior to the album release, such as images or mashup videos.

  • Host a listening party.

  • Collaborate with other artists using social media trends such as dance challenges.

  • Offer remix versions that count toward the charting of the original version.

Importance of Chart Performance

Chart algorithms consider both digital and physical sales. They assign different weights to each type of sale.

For example:

  • A digital download might count as 1 unit.

  • Physical sales are also converted into units based on the number of copies sold. These units are then used to calculate an artist’s position on the chart.



Music streams, whether paid or free, signify a track or album’s popularity and significantly contribute to chart rankings.Streams from platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Youtube also contribute to album-equivalent sales (AEUs), which combine pure sales (both physical and digital) with streaming to contribute to chart performance.

Types of Streams

Paid Subscriptions: Ad-free streams from premium subscriptions (e.g., Spotify Premium, Apple Music, and Amazon Music Unlimited) may contribute more significantly to chart rankings.

Programmed: Streams from online radio stations such as Pandora are chosen by the service itself instead of the listener and thus count less on some chart rate conversions.

Ad-Supported Streams: Some platforms offer free tiers supported by ads, such as Spotify, or paid tiers with ads included, such as Pandora Plus. These streams count toward some chart positions, although potentially at a lower rate.

Importance in Chart Performance

Genre and Demographics: Different genres have varying streaming patterns (e.g., pop, hip-hop, and K-pop tend to perform strongly on streaming platforms), while demographics (age, location) influence chart positions through streaming choices.

Conversion Factor: A certain number of streams are assigned different weights within chart algorithms.The conversion varies by chart and region, but a chart may assign specific conversion factors to each component. For example, X streams = 1 unit or equivalent sale.

​Real-Time Impact: Streaming data is updated frequently (sometimes daily), allowing charts to reflect real-time popularity. A sudden surge in streams due to a viral trend or artist promotion can propel a song up the charts swiftly.

Longevity and Consistency: Streaming platforms reward consistent performance. Songs that maintain steady streams over time fare well. Unlike traditional sales (where initial spikes matter most), streaming success can be sustained.


Radio and Airplay

Airplay is how often a song is being played through broadcasting via a radio station (aka through “spins”). This can lead to increased visibility of an album or single song release, especially when played often. It also can bring in new fans or brand recognition.

Even with streaming and digital music, radio airplay remains a vital tool for the introduction of new music.

There are two types of radio play: commercial and non-commercial.

Types of

Radio Play

  • Commercial Radio

    • FM Stations & Satellite Radio: These are the traditional commercial radio stations and satellite radio networks (e.g., SiriusXM) that dominate the airwaves. In 2022 alone, there were 15,377 commercial radio stations in the US. They have extensive reach and cater to a broad audience.​

    • Advertising: Commercial radio tends to play advertisements in longer blocks.

    • Wary of Non-English Songs: As even Billboard noted, in the US, top 40 stations usually shy away from foreign songs.

  • Non-Commercial Radio

    • Types: These consist of nonprofit radio (e.g., NPR), college radio, smaller independent stations and web-first online radio. 

    • ​Ads Illegal: Under Section 399b of the Communications Act of 1934, it is illegal to play advertisements on non-commercial radio. 

    • Flexibility: Although mainstream US radio stations are more averse to playing non-English songs, non-commercial stations DJs often have more flexibility in their playlists and are able to play more independent and emerging artists.


in Chart Performance

Although streaming platforms have taken a bite out of radio listeners, radio still plays a large part in charting and artist branding.

  • Audience Reach: On average, 91% of 18-and-older adults in the US are reached each month by radio, according to Nielsen. This compares with other sources (both ad-supported and subscription-based): 43% for Spotify, 35% for YouTube Music, 18% for both Pandora and Apple Music, 13% for Amazon Music, and 10% for satellite radio.

    • For example, daily audio consumption of AM/FM radio accounts for 5 times the daily audio consumption of ad-supported streaming (85% vs. 15%).​

  • Chart Points: Radio airplay points for chart ranking (be that airplay-only or as a component, such as for the Billboard Hot 100) are based on audience impressions, or the amount of spins on chart-monitored radio stations and the stations’ audience size. Paid plays (e.g., those during paid air time) or bumper music (i.e., short music clips that segue between program elements) do not count.​

    • For example, the Hot 100 formula typically targets a ratio of 30% to 40% for airplay, with 35% to 45% for sales and 20% to 30% for streaming.​

User Engagement on Music Platforms

Actions such as streaming and purchasing physical and digital albums can produce the most tangible impact, but user engagement also plays a vital role in indirectly supporting an artist.


Examples include:


Each time you copy or share a song/album link or code directly from Spotify, a unique link is created. It’s not clear what goes into boosting a song on the viral charts — Spotify only states it “generate(s) chart stream numbers using a formula that protects the integrity of our charts” — but shares are included in that data. For example, the Viral 50 Chart on Spotify is “entirely data-driven” and based on the following:

  • A recent rise in plays

  • How frequently the song is shared 

  • “How many people recently discovered the song”

Sharing the song also may help introduce new listeners to the song outside of Spotify as well as encourage the Spotify algorithm to recommend the track more.​

When songs are added to playlists, streaming platforms such as Spotify track that data to help give a bigger picture of what songs are popular to its audience. The bigger the playlist, the bigger the reach to new listeners and the more potential for organic discovery.


Shazam has gained importance in the music industry as a tool to predict what songs will be popular and which should spark interest on the radio. Once a user Shazams a song, they can open it in the Shazam app to discover track information or more music by the artist, listen to the track on one of three streaming platforms (Apple Music, Spotify or YouTube Music), buy the track on iTunes, add the track to their Spotify or Apple Music library, espy lyrics or music videos, and share the song across socials. Streaming platforms also compile the data from Shazam to help influence playlists and personalized recommendations. For instance, Apple Music has a playlist of the global top 50 and top 200 most-Shazamed tracks, updated weekly and daily, respectively. The more Shazams a song receives, the more likely a platform will recommend it to others.


Likes & Comments

When you like or comment on a song or music video on a streaming platform, the algorithm is learning that other users with similar listening habits may like it as well.


Collaborations are another way artists can reach new audiences for discoverability, as they not only reach fans of both artists but can spark curiosity outside of the fandoms.


STAY Power: spreading content across platforms through word of mouth, trends, engagement, streaming, and more. For an artist, fostering and encouraging a loyal fanbase through authenticity and transparency is paramount, since fans are the ones more likely to be streaming, buying albums and tracks, and engaging with an artist’s content.

Television &

Video Games

When songs are added to TV shows or video games, it brings the songs and artist to a brand-new audience. Although there is no direct correlation with music charts, you can often see the streams of a song increase after being added to a show or game.


Cross-Platform Trends

(Going Viral)

With the advent of social media, fans are able to influence music through user-generated content. Social media levels out the playing field for acts to get noticed, as seen with Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow. For example, TikTok users are almost twice as likely to discover new music than other social or short-form video platform users.

Almost all instances of viral videos fall into two categories:

Purposeful Viral Marketing

when a plan is put in place by the artist or recording company. A good example of this would be K-pop dance challenges.

Incidental Viral Marketing

when a trend takes off organically

As songs go viral and reach new audiences, they can chart higher than before.

In 2020, Doja Cat received her first Billboard radio chart No. 1 after a dance challenge spawned over 20 million video creations from her song “Say So.”

In 2022, based off an episode of the Netflix show Stranger Things, Kate Bush’s song “Running Up That Hill” reached No. 1 on the Global 200 37 years after its initial release. As the song gained popularity on TikTok, Shazams for the song also grew, causing it to reach No. 1 on Shazam Global Top 200 for 10 days as well as top 25 national charts.

Another song that went viral that year was a collaboration between Ice Spice and PinkPantheress, “Boy’s a liar pt. 2,” which reached the Hot 100 charts. Following that collaboration, both artists saw a large increase in popularity, leading to more exposure, airplay, and awards.

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Categories of Music Charts

Most charts use information from digital and physical sales, radio, and streams. As we continue to dive deeper, it is important to understand the categories that artists, companies, advertisers, and fans keep track of:

  • Streaming Service Charts – These charts reflect popularity on digital streaming platforms (DSPs).

  • Social-Media Influenced Charts — From TikTok to Instagram, these charts reflect viral trends exclusive to each social media platform. On these platforms, artists can engage more quickly, intimately, and visibly without the need for gatekeepers.

  • Global Charts – These charts (e.g., the Billboard Global 200), aggregate the data provided from participating regions and countries to give the industry a picture of what is the most popular song, artist, and album worldwide.

  • National Charts – These charts reflect the popularity of songs within the entire nation, such as the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA.


Streaming Service Charts

Streaming Platforms’ Impact on Global Charts breakdown of each platform; see week 2

Below is a non-comprehensive list of some of the most-viewed charts or playlists most likely to be viewed on the most popular streaming platforms.

Amazon Music

Amazon Music — A music platform provided by the Amazon company that offers ad-free programmed streams for Prime subscribers and premium streaming for Unlimited subscribers.

Notable charts include:

  • Best SellersA list of the top-selling songs and albums on Amazon Music.

  • Top 100: A playlist showcasing the most-streamed songs. 

  • Trending: A ranking of the top 50 trending songs

(only available in-app under Find -> Charts -> Trending Songs (globally or specific to a region/country)

Apple Music

Apple Music — Ranks second in terms of number of users, especially in the US, and offers subscription plans similar to Spotify.

Some notable charts on Apple Music:

  • Daily Top 100: Features playlist of the most-played songs globally and within each region/country, updated daily.

  • Top Songs: A playlist of the top songs, with genre filtering available in the top-right drop-down.

  • Top Albums: A chart of the top albums, with genre filtering available in the top-right drop-down.


Spotify — The most popular music streaming platform in the world, with over 350 million users and 150 million subscribers. The platform uses algorithms to provide suggested songs and playlists that adapt to users’ experiences. Chartings are done based on Spotify’s proprietary formula.

Some of Spotify’s significant charts are:

  • Top 50 - Global: A playlist featuring the most-streamed songs globally, updated daily.

  • Viral 50 - Global: A playlist highlighting the top 50 most viral Spotify tracks, updated daily.

  • Top Artists: A ranking of the most-streamed artists on Spotify, totaled from March 1, 2023.

  • Top Albums: A chart featuring the most-streamed albums on Spotify, updated daily.

Note: For the listener’s own region for each of these charts, search “top 50” or “viral 50” from the Spotify search and scroll down to Playlists. Make sure it says “By Spotify.”

Youtube Music

YouTube Music — A music streaming service with a user interface that allows users to explore songs and YouTube music videos based on genres, playlists, and recommendations.

The notable charts for this platform:

 (note there is no global option; listeners music select their region or country from the dropdown menu in the top-right)

  • Weekly Top Songs: YouTube Music’s weekly chart of the most-viewed songs globally.

Note: For the listener’s own region for each of these charts, select from the drop-down menu in the top right on the homepage.

Global Charts

There are two major charts from Billboard compiled globally: the Billboard Global 200 and the Billboard Global Excl. US. For these charts, STAYs work cooperatively across the globe to take the members to new heights. Both charts are based on worldwide streams and downloads from over 200 different territories.

Note: Billboard Global 200 will be covered more in-depth in a later section.

Billboard Global 200

  • Tracking Week: Friday through Thursday

  • Publication Date: Tuesdays (Wednesday on Monday-holiday weeks)

  • Metrics:

    • TEA (track-equivalent album sales)

      • 1 album sale = 10 individual tracks

    • SEA (stream-equivalent album sales):

      • 1 album sale = 3,750 ad-supported on-demand audio/video streams

      • 1 album sale = 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand audio/video streams

Billboard Global Excl. US

  • Tracking Week: Friday through Thursday

  • Publication Date: Tuesdays (Wednesday on Monday-holiday weeks)

  • Metrics:

    • “A weighted formula incorporating official-only streams on both subscription and ad-supported tiers of leading audio and video music services, plus download sales from top music retailers across the globe.”

Note that both charts include music streaming and download data from Melon, a major South Korean online music store and streaming service.

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Social Media-Influenced Charts

Social media helps lower the barrier between artists and their fans, allowing them to connect more directly and for fans to hype their favorites.

TikTok Charts

A non-comprehensive glimpse into some of the most impactful TikTok charts in large global music markets:

  • TikTok Billboard Top 50 - US

    • Based on a combination of video creations, video views, and user engagement by the US Tiktok community.

    • Released weekly.

    • Chart found in-app.

  • TikTok Weekly Top 20 - Japan

  • TikTok Billboard Top 50 - Canada

Even in countries without official TikTok charts, a strong correlation can be found between TikTok use and music chart placement.

Instagram Charts

In summer 2023, Spotify began compiling a top 50 Reels chart for the most popular Reels in Mexico and Brazil. These charts use the following to compile their rankings:

  • Songs used the most in Reels creations

  • Songs with the biggest growth in views 

  • Level of user engagement

  • Overall views on Reels

YouTube Shorts

YouTube Shorts, or YouTube videos of less than 60 seconds, have been shown to triple an artist’s audience of unique viewers, who in turn become channel subscribers. In addition, the sound on Remixes — through which users can take “samples” of others’ videos or Shorts to create a new Short — is sourced to the original video. In November 2023, a daily Shorts chart, Top Songs on Shorts Chart, was added that totals the number of Shorts made featuring a song.

Other Social Media

Although other social media may not, either directly or indirectly, appear to influence music charts, with the constantly changing landscape of the music world, it’s important to keep an eye out for new technology and trends.


For instance, in 2020, Snapchat added Sounds, whereby users can add licensed clips from songs, TV shows and movies, and recently teamed up with Spotify to add a Lens layover that lets you share songs plus information about and a link to the song on Spotify.

Billboard Charts Legend

Airplay Gainer (AG): Song with the largest increase in radio audience.

Airpower: On airplay charts, indicates songs appearing in the top 20 of a respective format’s plays and audience rankings for the first time with increases in both plays and audience.

Bullet: Song(s) with the greatest weekly gains.

Digital Sales Gainer (DSG): Song with the largest sales unit increase.

Hot Shot Debut: Highest-ranking new entry on a chart.

Greatest Gainer (GG): Song with the largest unit increase (on album charts) or the largest increase in plays or audience (on airplay charts)

Pacesetter (PS): On album charts, indicates the largest percentage growth in album sales.

Recurrent Rules: When songs are moved to “recurrent” status and removed from the charts after certain parameters, such as ranking below the top 50 or having charted for 52 weeks.

Streaming Gainer (SG): Song with the largest increase in streaming.

Review of Billboard Charts

Billboard is a weekly American publication that provides data on general and genre-specific song and album popularity.


Billboard charts are informed by Luminate, an independent music data aggregation and analysis firm. While there are numerous Billboard charts, STAYs usually focus on the Billboard Hot 100, Billboard 200, and Billboard Global Exc. US.

Understanding Billboard Impact

Billboard charts are important to artists, label companies, and fans who are invested in seeing their favorite musical acts grow.


Ranking on the Billboard charts increases an artist’s visibility and potential audience, supports their stylistic and creative decisions, increases financial gains from endorsements and sponsorships, and increases their chances of collaborating with other artists if desired.

Regional Variations in Music Charting

USA Charts vs. Global Charts

In the world’s largest music market, the United States, a few coveted charts such as the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200 are only achievable by the efforts of fans within the United States and the US territory of Puerto Rico. Similarly, across the globe’s largest markets, varying rules and calculations go into ranking the most popular songs and albums of the day.

It would be impossible for our team to research each and every one at this time, so we have limited our scope to the top 3 largest music markets in the world.

As of 2023, the world’s largest markets are:

  1. United States

  2. Japan

  3. United Kingdom

  4. Germany

  5. China

  6. France

  7. South Korea

  8. Canada

  9. Brazil

  10.  Australia

Note: The US charts will be covered in a later section.



Oricon, a Japanese research company, releases charts daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly that track the most popular physical singles sales and album sales in Japan. They are published every Tuesday.

To qualify for the Oricon Singles Chart:

  • Physical sales must be purchased at participating stores.

Included on the Oricon Albums Chart are:

  • Physical sales from participating stores.

  • Downloads from digital purchase platforms such as iTunes, Amazon Music, etc.

  • Streams from the following streaming platforms:

    • Apple Music

    • Amazon Music

    • AWA

    • KKBOX

    • LINE Music

    • Rakuten Music 

    • Spotify


    • YouTube

    • YouTube Music

An aggregated unit is calculated by combining identical works of CD sales, downloads, and plays. This is converted into points, which is the unit for chart rankings.

  • Oricon Singles chart:

    • 1 converted sales point = CD Single + Download (single song) + Download (bundle) + Streaming (number of plays)

  • Oricon Albums Chart:

    • 1 converted sales point = CD album (estimated number of sales) + Download (album bundle) + Streaming (number of plays)

Streaming is calculated as:

  • Paid plays = 1 play

  • Ad model plays, etc. = 1/3 play

  • Prime Music plays = 1/2 play

Billboard Japan

The most coveted Billboard charts in Japan are:

  • Hot 100 — This weekly chart is similar to its American counterpart. Compiled by Billboard Japan, with tracking from Monday to Sunday, the chart uses the following criteria to rank songs:

    • Physical and digital sales

    • Audio streams

    • Radio airplay

    • YouTube and GYAO! video views

    • Karaoke data

  • Hot Albums — This chart is similar to the US’s Billboard 200, a weekly chart tracking top albums. Factors for this chart include:​

    • Album sales

    • Music downloads from:

      • Amazon Music

      • ITunes

      • Mora

      • Mu-mo

      • Recochoku

    • Number of lookups accessed by Gracenote Media Database when an audio CD is played on a computer​

  • Artist 100 — An artist ranking calculated by adding up Hot 100 and Hot Albums points.

  • TikTok Weekly Top 20 — Chart that calculates the top 20 songs on the app.


United Kingdom

In the UK, the Official Charts Company compiles data to manage the UK’s official music and video charts. Some of the most influential charts are the Official Singles Top 40 Chart and the Official UK Albums Chart.

Official Singles Top 40 Chart

There are a few particular parameters in this weekly singles chart that make it unique:

  • A single is defined by the OCC as:

    • A single bundle with fewer than 4 tracks and not lasting longer than 25 minutes

    • 1 digital audio track of less than 15 minutes costing no less than 40 pence

  • Lead artists can’t have more than 3 songs on the chart at once.

  • Streams for the chart are calculated as follows:

    • Standard Chart Ratio:​

      • 100 premium (paid) audio streams = 1 single purchase

      • 600 on-demand ad-supported (free) streams = 1 single purchase

    • Accelerated Chart Ratio (applied after the 10th week of release, if a song has 3 consecutive weeks of more-than-average drops in streams):​

      • 200 premium (paid) audio streams = 1 single purchase

      • 1,200 on-demand ad-supported (free) streams = 1 single purchase

Official UK Albums Chart

The Albums Chart also features some unique methodology:

  • An album must be 25 minutes or longer or have 4-plus songs that don’t qualify as “maxi” (a CD single with more than 2 tracks) or remixes.

  • For Streaming:

    • The top 2 most-played tracks are reduced to either the average level of the next 14-highest played tracks (for albums with less than 16 tracks).

    • After the streams are neutralized as noted, the top 16 tracks’ total streams are converted as 1,000 streams = 1 album sale  

  • Albums that have “undisclosed gifts,” such as random photocards, are not eligible for the UK Albums Chart. To qualify, an album with permitted free gifts must have those gifts available to buy separately from the album or together with 1 album.​

Other Global Charts

The other charts across the world and in the biggest music markets have regional variances in streaming, buying, and compiling their charts. Please check in with a fanbase in your region to stay up-to-date on all of these chart variances.

Data Collection & Calculations for Billboard

Billboard calculates chart placements using sales data, streaming data, and airplay. While some charts focus solely on one data source (e.g., radio charts), others combine these metrics in hybrid form. All data is compiled and reported to Billboard by data firm Luminate.

  • Streaming Data: Comprises streams from major online music services and video platforms.

  • Sales Data: Compiled from retailers representing over 90% of the U.S. music retail market, sales data includes all album and song charts.

  • Airplay: Tracked by Mediabase, which monitors radio stations in over 140 U.S. markets.


Billboard Hot 100

The Billboard Hot 100 focuses on singles, with the most popular songs of the week ranked based on streaming activity from digital music sources, radio airplay, and sales data.

Note: For a guide on how to purchase and limitations, refer to the CB Guide website at


The formula that goes into ranking singles for the Hot 100 is a closely guarded secret by Billboard, but the magazine has released some details on what counts more toward ranking on the Hot 100:

  • Streaming is the most crucial factor, with 3 tiers weighted differently:

    • On-Demand Streams (1 point): Streams from paid subscription services without ads (e.g., Spotify Premium and Apple Music). This includes trials of premium services. Paid streams sans ads will carry more weight in chart calculations. 

    • Ad-Supported Streams (⅔ point): Streams from either free accounts (e.g., basic Spotify) or paid accounts (e.g., Pandora Plus) with streaming interrupted by advertisements. 

    • Programmed Streams (½ point): Online radio-style streams from services such as Pandora’s free tier. In such cases, the songs are chosen by the service itself rather than the user.

  • Radio airplay ranks 2nd in importance, with Luminate relying on Mediabase tracking of mainly commercial radio stations in 140-plus U.S. markets and cross-referencing spins with Nielsen Audio audience impressions to guesstimate the audience for each spin. The data is then relayed to Billboard for pointage.

  • Lastly, digital sales figure into Billboard’s Hot 100 formula, including those from iTunes, Qobuz, 7Digital, Amazon Music and Stationhead. As of June 30, digital downloads from artist’s online stores, including the official SKZ shop, no longer count towards Hot 100 rankings.

Tracking Schedule

  • Sales: Friday to Thursday

  • Streams: Friday to Thursday

  • Radio Airplay: Monday to Sunday (to reflect real-time available data)

Reporting Schedule

  • Top 10: Monday afternoon

  • Full Chart: Tuesday morning (Wednesday on Monday-holiday weeks)

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Billboard 200

The Billboard 200 ranks full albums and EPs (extended plays) as determined by a secret weighted formula that includes pure sales, track-equivalent albums (TEAs) and stream-equivalent albums (SEAs).


Note: For a guide on how to purchase and limitations, refer to the CB Guide website at



The following metrics are included:

  • Pure (aka traditional) sales

    • 1 digital album downloaded = 1 album sale 

    • 1 physical album = 1 album sale (max of 4)

  • TEA (track-equivalent album sales)

    • 10 individual tracks purchased and downloaded = 1 album sale​

  • SEA (stream-equivalent album sales)

    • 3,750 ad-supported on-demand audio/video streams = 1 album sale

    • 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand audio/video streams = 1 album sale

    • Higher tier: paid subscriptions with full music library and no restrictions

    • Lower tier: paid subscriptions with partial music library and/or limited functionality

    • (Tracks * 200) + premium streams + (ad-supported streams / 4.5)

Tracking Schedule

  • Physical & Digital Sales: Friday to Thursday

  • Streams: Friday to Thursday

Reporting Schedule

  • Projected Top 10: Friday evening

  • Finalized Top 10: Saturday

  • Full Chart: Tuesday morning (Wednesday on Monday-holiday weeks)


Since we had to recreate the presentation in a format that differs from the previous format as quickly as we could, we still need to go back through and include all citations in their respective places, which will a take considerable amount of time to properly format 131 citations and sources just for Part 1. For now we are including our copy of our Reference Card Sheet so that STAYs can at least look to see what sources were used for each section until we can go back ad add all links individually.

We hope offering this for now as a resource while our team continues to move forward with other sections so that we can stay on schedule is sufficient until we can go back through one by one and link sources directly on the presentation. We appreciate your time and understanding as we do our best to provide STAYs with the information and resources they need.


Meet the Team

  • Admin 🐺 | @SKZCBGuide  - Project Co-Admin & Graphics Team Leader, Whovian, Twitter Admin & Proud Member of Stray Kids Comeback Guide Team

  • Allie | @energysavingm0d - Project Co-Admin & Writing and Editing Team Leader, Waggish  W(OR)dsmith and Sanest Admin at OutreachRacha, the Oncoming Storm

  • Meowracha | @crystal28822 -  Data Team Leader, Founding Member, Deductive Dataist, Defender at OutreachRacha

  • Kari | @StayKariousMost  - Research Team Leader, Sane Admin of OutreachRacha

  • Shara | @smskz06Sonic  -Events Team Leader, exSTREAMist and Sanest Admin at OutreachRacha. Allons-y!

  • Kari | @Quokkari0325 -Floating Team Leader, Squirreliest and Sanest Admin at OutreachRacha

  • Admin ☀️ | @SKZCBGuide_Team - Graphics Team, YouTube & TikTok Admin at Stray Kids Comeback Guide

  • Vannie | @Van_ville8 - Research & Writing Team Member, President of Noonatown and proud member of TypoRacha

  • Steph | @boltsfan71 - Data, Research & Writing Team Member, Organizer of Copious Data for STAY aka OCD for STAY

  • Meg | @stayverfd - Data & Research Team Member, One Badass STAY

  • Manda(lina) | @postpunkpanda - Research & Writing Team Member, Paboracha Noona and Hanquokka Fanatic

  • Marcie | @pourlevenom - Graphics Team Member, Emostay Royalty, Proud Visual Storyteller and Brainstormer at Outreachracha

  • Dawn | @BrazenLive  - Graphics & Writing Team Member, STAY.D.I.S Designer

  • Andrea0325_  - Research & Writing Team Member, Stray Kids Comeback Guide Data & Tracking Team

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