Billboard has changed the way it creates its weekly hot country songs chart, the industry publication announced Thursday morning (Oct. 11). Chart positions will now incorporate digital download sales (tracked by Nielsen SoundScan) and streaming data (from Spotify and others) to their radio airplay figures to determine the weekly chart.
The changes will also apply to the hot R&B/hip-hop songs and hot Latin songs charts and will match the qualifications for the publication’s all-genre chart, the Billboard Hot 100.
To reflect radio activity only, Billboard will also post a weekly country radio airplay chart.
As a result of these changes, Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” regains its momentum, charging to No. 1 on the hot country songs chart. The song had been on its way off the chart. Last week, it was No. 21. Swift’s pop-oriented single “Red,” which is not on the country airplay chart, is now No. 2 on the hot country songs chart. “Begin Again” vaults from No. 37 to No. 10 on the hot country songs chart. It is at No. 29 on the country airplay chart.
Other big jumpers on the hot country songs chart include Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise,” which cruises from No. 19 to No. 6, as well as Gary Allan’s “Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain),” leaping from No. 36 to No. 20. Allan’s single sold nearly 49,000 digital singles in its first week of release.