We recently witnessed the reconstruction of Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart (formerly known as: Hot Black Singles, Hot R&B Singles and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles and Tracks). Many people strongly objected to this change because it appears to put artist who cater to strictly R&B audiences at a disadvantage. Cross-over artists that receive mainstream support now qualify as forefront contenders to dominate the R&B charts over acts that may garner heavy rotation from mainly R&B outlets. Digital single sales are counted towards every artists chart placement, however, those artists that reach wider audiences whose songs wouldn't necessarily be classified as R&B may make the biggest dent on those charts now.
What's problematic here is that many will argue that songs like Rihanna's Diamonds (the current #1 R&B/Hip-Hop chart topper) doesn't accurately represent the R&B genre. There certainly should be given more contemplation over this matter to determine if the face-lift Billboard received avoids generalizing what different musicians offer artistically. Factoring in digital sales of every song without coming up with a criteria could end up defeating the purpose of identifying the chart to begin with, especially when artists are thrown in categories they don't belong in. The system is flawed and careless. If Rihanna is doing similar music to Katy Perry and Ke$ha will we eventually see those artists spill over to R&B charts with the same kind of tunes?
It's great that sales from Itunes and you-tube views will be counted, but to what degree will it ruin the foundation of how Billboard distinguish different music artists and genres. What's being requested on Urban radio seems to be more concentrated and it make sense to count a larger percentage of sales of songs that honors that (to represent that chart) than to allow it to be open for other type of artists in the industry that can randomly (and often stereo-typically) be selected to enter a chart that doesn't house their style of music. These odd occurrences will continue to stand out like a sore thumb. The methods Billboard will be using now doesn't accurately showcase the audience's musical taste and it all could end up being very misleading. That's why songs are sent to these stations (to test response), but if nothing builds than it's understood that the song didn't gain momentum there. Only the listeners have the right to determine that, not hits form You-tube. What's constantly being streamed is usually the direct result of fan bases (and not necessarily a particular group).