Music Success Now Measured in Social Networking

Music is acquired, listened to and shared through social networking, so it was only a matter of time before it was measured there too. And here it is. Billboard has just launched its Social 50 chart, which ranks the most active artists on the world's leading social-networking sites. And, no surprise, the inaugural chart has two Tweet-loving stars at the top.

Music is acquired, listened to and shared through social networking, so it was only a matter of time before it was measured there too. And here it is. Billboard has just launched its Social 50 chart, which ranks the most active artists on the world’s leading social-networking sites. And, no surprise, the inaugural chart has two Tweet-loving stars at the top.

Rihanna scored the top spot on the magazine’s very first chart, meaning she amassed the most page views, new friends, fans and followers in the past week. Coming in a close second was You-Tube, Twitter and Facebook sensation, and teen heartthrob, Justin Beiber.

The rankings for the weekly chart are based on a formula that includes how many fans the artists’ official pages have added on sites like Facebook, iLike, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube, the weekly song plays on those sites, and the total number of fans, friends, and followers he or she has on social networking sites.

Following Rihanna and Justin Beiber in the top five of the inaugural chart are Eminem, Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj. Other social media-friendly artists who made the list include the Black Eyed Peas (#6), Katy Perry (#7), Ke$ha (#8), Linkin Park (#9) and Shakira (#10) and, further down, Taylor Swift, Usher, Lil Wayne, Kanye West and Paramore.

The data is compiled and provided to Billboard by music-tracking service Next Big Sound.

“We continue to adapt the way we chart the changing landscape of music,” Billboard editorial director Bill Werde said about the new measurement. “The Social 50 is yet another step in the evolution of Billboard and an important response to our changing times.”

Artists looking to make The Social 50 may want to increase their “pokes” and “likes,” as the behavior of artists’ fans and friends is weighted most heavily in the formula. The chart also measures the ratio of page views-to-fans/friends, as allowed on both YouTube and MySpace.

The Social 50 will be published each Thursday in Billboard, and also will be available on Billboard.com and Billboard.biz.