Billboard (stylized as billboard) is an American music magazine, headquartered in New York City, New York and owned by Prometheus Global Media. It was first published on November 1, 1894, and is distinguished as being among the oldest trade magazines in the world. The magazine originally focused on bill posting and outdoor amusements before specializing in the music industry in the 1960s.
Billboard maintains several internationally recognized record charts, which track the most popular songs and albums across several categories on a weekly basis. Its primary charts are the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard 200, respectively ranking the top songs and albums regardless of genre. Song rankings are based on digital download sales, radio airplay, and internet streaming, while albums are based solely on sales. Its data is largely based on the Nielsen SoundScan tracking system, which it has used since 1991.
- 2 Current operations
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 Further reading
- 6 External links
A Billboard issue in 1896.
Billboard was founded in Cincinnati on November 1, 1894, by William H. Donaldson and James Hennegan. Originally titledBillboard Advertising it was a trade paper for the bill posting industry, hence the magazine's name. Within a few years of its founding, it began to carry news of outdoor amusements, a major consumer of billboard space. Eventually, Billboard became the paper of record for circuses, carnivals, amusement parks, fairs, vaudeville, minstrels, whale shows and other live entertainment. The magazine began coverage of motion pictures in 1909 and of radio in the 1920s. Though the first music connection was the Billboard sheet music best sellers charts & top songs in vaudeville theaters published in 1913 but it was not a regular chart yet.Billboard's former logo, in use from October 1984 until January 2013.
With the development of the jukebox industry during the 1930s, The Billboard began publishing music charts. Originally, there were only three genre-specific charts: Pop, Rhythm & Blues, and Country & Western. In the 1950s, it introduced a section covering the television industry, including ratings charts for programs. It continued to carry news of fairs, carnivals, theme parks, and other outdoor entertainments until 1961 when these departments were spun off into a new weekly magazine called Amusement Business. By this time, the television coverage had also been moved to a separate publication.
At the start of 1961, The Billboard was renamed Billboard Music Week. The publication was now devoted almost entirely to the music industry, with some coverage of coin-operated vending and entertainment machines on its jukebox pages. The title was changed to simply Billboard at the start of 1963. In 2005, the magazine and its web sites were repositioned to provide coverage of all forms of digital and mobile entertainment.
Amusement Business prospered for a few decades, but was struggling by the beginning of the 21st century. Shortly after then its frequency of publication was reduced to monthly and it finally ceased publication following its May 2006 issue.
For many years, the weekly syndicated radio program American Top 40, hosted by Casey Kasem (July 4, 1970 to August 6, 1988), and Shadoe Stevens (August 13, 1988 to January 28, 1995), played the top 40songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in reverse order; in late November 1991, it switched to using the top 40 portion of the Hot 100 Airplay chart. Later, in early 1993, it began using the Top 40 Mainstream chart until it temporarily went off the air in 1995. When the show returned in 1998, it no longer used Billboard charts as its source, instead relying on Mediabase charts based purely on radio airplay.
A country music version of American Top 40, called American Country Countdown, has been on the air since October 1973. The show is hosted each week by Kix Brooks of the country duo Brooks & Dunn, who replaced radio legend Bob Kingsley in January 2006. American Country Countdown used the top 40 songs of the Hot Country Songs chart until August 2009.
- Tony Gervino (April 28, 2014 – present)
- Joe Levy (March 30, 2012 – April 27, 2014)
- Danyel Smith (January 10, 2011 – March 1, 2012 )
- Craig Marks (2010–)
- Robert Levine (September 2008 –)
- Keith Girard (April 21, 2003 – May 24, 2004)
- Timothy White (1991 – June 27, 2002)
Billboard, then titled The Billboard, published its first music hit parade on January 4, 1936; its first record chart was calculated on July 20, 1940. The Billboard Hot 100, which documents individual singles, was introduced on August 4, 1958; the Billboard 200, which ranks full music albums, was premiered on August 17, 1963. Today, the service provides over 100 charts, which are updated on a weekly basis.
Billboard Publications became a major trade magazine publisher, acquiring The Hollywood Reporter, Kirkus Reviews, Adweek and Mediaweek. It was acquired by Dutch publisher VNU (later renamed the Nielsen Company) in 1993, but later sold in 2009 along with the other Nielsen Business Media properties to the new company e5 Global Media, which was renamed in 2010 to Prometheus Global Media.
Billboard is intended for music professionals, such as record label executives, artists, music retailers, and radio DJs. Although it is generally considered a business-to-business magazine, it can be found at many consumer bookstores and magazine stands, particularly in cities with a large music industry presence such as New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, Austin, and Miami. In January, 2014, it was announced that Janice Min, the editorial director for The Hollywood Reporter, would add editorial duties atBillboard as co-president and chief creative officer of Guggenheim Media's Entertainment Group.
Much of the magazine is available at Billboard's B2B site, Billboard.biz. Billboard.com is the consumer-centered site, and includes artist interviews, daily news and charts. The group behind the billboard has an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group (itself a part of Random House) known as Billboard Reads, which bought the imprint from Nielsen in 2008. The publishing agency describes itself as "a leading publisher of music and entertainment titles".