Billboard – the music industry’s premier graphic resource – on Wednesday announced plans to partner with Twitter to give people what they want – more graphics.
the last graphic, dubbed “the Billboard Hot Trending Powered by Twitter,” will do exactly what the name suggests: gauge the number of Twitter conversations that take place around a particular song on any given day. It’s a metric Sarah Rosen, Twitter’s head of entertainment partnerships, told Bloomberg she will play a pivotal role in at a time when social media plays such a big role in shaping the zeitgeist.
“It all ties into the conversation,” Rosen said. “This is another interesting way to slice and slice up musical material that differs from what it does with all other graphics.”
The new strategy would also impact Billboard’s editorial workflow, in that staff members will also be responsible for writing articles and producing videos around the data, which will eventually appear on Billboard’s own website. as well as on Twitter.
Billboard Chairman Julian Holguin told Bloomberg that advertisers can also expect to be part of the action – what a relief! – either by sponsoring the graph or by purchasing referrals in the resulting videos which are taken from the data points of the graphs.
“Advertisers can align themselves with the hottest music trends and hottest topics,” Holguin said. “It’s hard to grow at the speed of culture and this graphic can help advertisers participate in it. “
But look beyond the corporate charter jargon and you will see the disturbing and obvious truth: this tool in the hands of Gen Z is just another way to ensure that Santana’s 1999 hit “Smooth” re-enters the cultural conversation, once again dominant the summer 2021 speech.
Really though, a music economy that is in some way dictated by tweets seems to be the logical extension of a gig economy where positive user reviews are a boon to revenue, or crowdfunding platforms to. which people flock to when their loved ones are sick and need insulin. Crowdsourcing everything from vital resources to popular music is not the most reliable system for determining merit, talent, or need. It is simply an arbitrary way of determining who can get the most clicks, either by activating their ‘hive’ by shooting the lucky invisible tendrils of the social fabric that connects us all.
To paraphrase one of the great poets: “Give me your theme / make it real / or forget it. “