NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Billboard is updating its Christian and gospel song charts, continuing a modernization process intended to reflect the use of the Internet on listening habits.
Beginning Wednesday, Billboard will add digital download sales and streaming data to its existing radio airplay methodology. This will bring the Christian and gospel songs charts in line with other charts like the Billboard Hot 100 and country, rock and hip-hop songs lists that were updated last year.
Silvio Pietroluongo, Billboard's director of charts, says adding the new data "provides a more holistic view of a song's popularity" in a news release to be issued Monday.
The addition of digital and streaming information has changed the makeup of the Hot 100, opening the way for Internet stars like PSY or Ylvis to be counted in an age when listeners increasingly consume their music through services like YouTube, Spotify and Rhapsody.
And like changes made to the Hot 100, Christian and gospel airplay will now be charted across the more than 1,200 radio stations tracked by Nielsen BDS. Previously songs only received credit for spins on stations with Christian or gospel formats. Officials expect this to benefit gospel songs played Sunday mornings on urban radio stations, for instance.
Billboard also is adding gospel and Christian streaming songs charts along with the revamp. The magazine began charting Christian songs in 2003 and gospel songs two years later.
Follow AP Music Writer Chris Talbott: http://twitter.com/Chris_Talbott .