How to Chart on Billboard in 4 Easy Steps

Billboard has a massive impact on the way consumers view music today. Chart-toppers usually command the most traffic online and are the most played.

For an artist, topping the Billboard chart can be the gateway to getting label or management deals (not to mention even attracting brand partnerships).

Given that Billboard lists the “hottest” releases, charting on Billboard 200Hot 100Social 50, and Artist 100 is every artist’s dream.

I charted Billboard on my debut record through my previous project, Dwellings.

The question, however, is; how do you do chart on Billboard?

For starters, let’s understand the mechanisms that the platform employs to chart songs.

After that, we can explore different tactics used to make sure that Billboard takes notice.

What Makes a Hot Song on Billboard

Considering that streaming is becoming the primary method of music consumption online, Billboard is nowadays basing its chart off of online engagement. They particularly look at these elements:

  • Track and album downloads
  • Album sales
  • Radio airplay

Given that Spotify, YouTube, and social media (looking at you TikTok) are becoming more and more popular for listener engagement, Billboard takes into account the positive engagement from these platforms.

What’s more, Billboard monitors radio stations to see how often they play you music and even how often the listeners request it.

Ok, So How Do You Chart?

Charting on Billboard takes an unquestionable talent and marketing effort. The good news is that you can bridge the gap between being a talented musician and a global chart-topper by implementing these best practices.

1. Have A Timely Release

When you release music, there are a lot of things to do, such as distributing your music, getting your creative assets together – the list goes on.

Things can more often than not fall through the cracks due to poor time management or just outright forgetting the key dates for a release, such as submitting to the Spotify editorial team on time, getting your ads approved.

To mitigate issues throughout your release, ensure you first put a timeline and social media strategy in place, so that you can upload your song or album to your trusted distributor in a timely manner.

2. Sign Up for Nielsen SoundScan

To get started, first you need to sign up for the Nielsen SoundScan system.

This system identifies a characteristic that makes your song different, what we call an audio fingerprint. It then uses the characteristic to track the sales of your songs across the U.S and Canada.

Remember, the more the sales, the more likely you are to chart on Billboard.

You should note, however, that it’s not just Billboard that uses the Nielsen SoundScan data but also music retailers and producers, radio stations, and publishers.

3. Invest in Public Relations and Facebook Ads

Both public relations (PR) and Facebook ad campaigns are essential in promoting your music. The marketing campaigns help to make your music more visible and draw traffic, as well as (ultimately) result in sales.

Make sure you do your research and find the right people to help you with the campaigns (this is where a resource like us comes into play).

simpl. helps you market your music through Facebook ads, Instagram ads, PR, and many other marketing channels.

4. Arrange for Pre-Order/Pre-Saves

Nowadays, it’s possible to sell and promote your album a few weeks before its release date.

We call it a pre-order, and can last however long you set it up for, but Billboard counts all sales made during this time as your first week’s sales.

Thus, it’s easy to hit the Billboard Heatseekers charts if your album has a steady amount of sales during the pre-order period.

Looking to get the most out of your next song release?

Learn more about our Academy to access step by step instructions on generating fans, growing your Spotify, and increase your chances to chart on Billboard.