(Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for Clear Channel)

The day the world changed was October 20, 2012. Did you feel it? You probably didn’t.
However, one of the most revered publications changed the way it tabulated its results
and what’s new is old again.

In the history of the Billboard Charts, they have a history of tweaking their methods
to get the clearest picture of song popularity. In the early days of the chart, that meant
multiple charts measuring sales, jukebox plays and radio spins. Eventually the charts
were combined and the components of sales and radio were the main instruments to
measure the hits.

With the advent of digital media, there are more outlets than just single sales and radio
plays to get your artist into the marketplace. Youtube, Pandora, Facebook and numerous
avenues are available to get exposure. Thus the inputs change and Billboard Magazine
saw fit to keep up with the times.

So it’s been nine weeks and we have the longest running chart-topper in country music
since 1966 without much help from radio stations that play country music. Taylor Swift
has attained the lofty heights with her venomous tome “We Are Never Ever Getting Back
Together.” The last song to spend nine weeks at the top was Almost Persuaded by David
Houston.

To be brutally honest, “Never Ever” is not as country as some of her other work and
when initially released it peaked at #12 on the heavily radio-influenced Country Chart.
It got that high mainly because it’s TAYLOR SWIFT. However, when Billboard
Magazine changed the formula, it allowed influence from all media and different genres
to determine popularity. So every play on every conceivable format plus sales and views
on Youtube influences the chart performance.

For Country Music fans, it’s what we have and you can decide on your own whether
that’s good or bad. Early on in this process, it appears that the separation that a format
craves is now homogenized with all the rest.