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At the start of the rock era in , three such charts existed: This chart ranked the biggest selling singles in retail stores, as reported by merchants surveyed throughout the country 20 to 50 positions. Most Played by Jockeys was Billboard's original airplay chart. It ranked the most played songs on United States radio stations, as reported by radio disc jockeys and radio stations 20 to 25 positions. Most Played in Jukeboxes ranked the most played songs in jukeboxes across the United States 20 positions. This was one of the main outlets of measuring song popularity with the younger generation of music listeners, as many radio stations resisted adding rock and roll music to their playlists for many years. Although officially all three charts had equal "weight" in terms of their importance, Billboard Magazine considers the Best Sellers in Stores chart when referencing a song's performance prior to the creation of the Hot The Top combined all aspects of a single's performance sales, airplay and jukebox activity , based on a point system that typically gave sales purchases more weight than radio airplay. On June 17, , Billboard discontinued the Most Played in Jukeboxes chart, as the popularity of jukeboxes waned and radio stations incorporated more and more rock-oriented music into their playlists. The week ending July 28, was the final publication of the Most Played By Jockeys and Top charts, both of which had Perez Prado 's instrumental version of " Patricia " ascending to the top. The Billboard Hot is still the standard by which a song's popularity is measured in the United States. The Hot is ranked by radio airplay audience impressions as measured by Nielsen BDS, sales data compiled by Nielsen Soundscan both at retail and digitally and streaming activity provided by online music sources. The most significant ones are: Charts are ranked by number of gross audience impressions, computed by cross-referencing exact times of radio airplay with Arbitron listener data. With the decline in sales of physical singles in the US, many songs that become number one on this chart often do not even chart on the Hot Digital sales are tracked by Nielsen SoundScan and are included as part of a title's sales points. Compilation The tracking week for sales and streaming begins on Friday and ends on Thursday, while the radio play tracking-week runs from Monday to Sunday. A new chart is compiled and officially released to the public by Billboard on Tuesday. Each chart is post-dated with the "week-ending" issue date four days after the charts are refreshed online i. Friday, January 1 — sales tracking-week begins, streaming tracking-week begins Monday, January 4 — airplay tracking-week begins Thursday, January 7 — sales tracking-week ends, streaming tracking-week ends Sunday, January 10 — airplay tracking-week ends Tuesday, January 12 — new chart released, with issue post-dated Saturday, January 16 Policy changes The methods and policies by which this data is obtained and compiled have changed many times throughout the chart's history. Although the advent of a singles music chart spawned chart historians and chart-watchers and greatly affected pop culture and produced countless bits of trivia, the main purpose of the Hot is to aid those within the music industry: Billboard has many times changed its methodology and policies to give the most precise and accurate reflection of what is popular. A very basic example of this would be the ratio given to sales and airplay. During the Hot 's early history, singles were the leading way by which people bought music. At times, when singles sales were robust, more weight was given to a song's retail points than to its radio airplay. As the decades passed, the recording industry concentrated more on album sales than singles sales. Musicians eventually expressed their creative output in the form of full-length albums rather than singles, and by the s many record companies stopped releasing singles altogether see Album Cuts, below. Eventually, a song's airplay points were weighted more so than its sales. Double-sided singles Billboard has also changed its Hot policy regarding "two-sided singles" several times. The pre-Hot chart "Best Sellers in Stores" listed popular A- and-B-sides together, with the side that was played most often based on its other charts listed first. During the Presley single's chart run, top billing was switched back and forth between the two sides several times. But on the concurrent "Most Played in Juke Boxes", "Most Played by Jockeys" and the "Top ", the two songs were listed separately, as was true of all songs. With the initiation of the Hot in , A- and-B-sides charted separately, as they had on the former Top Starting with the Hot chart for the week ending November 29, , this rule was altered; if both sides received significant airplay, they were listed together. This started to become a moot point by , as most major record labels solidified a trend they had started in the s by putting the same song on both sides of the singles it serviced to radio. More complex issues began to arise as the typical A-and-B-side format of singles gave way to 12 inch singles and maxi-singles, many of which contained more than one B-side. Further problems arose when, in several cases, a B-side would eventually overtake the A-side in popularity, thus prompting record labels to release a new single, featuring the former B-side as the A-side, along with a "new" B-side. The inclusion of album cuts on the Hot put the double-sided hit issues to rest permanently. Album cuts As many Hot chart policies have been modified over the years, one rule always remained constant: However, on December 5, , the Hot changed from being a "singles" chart to a "songs" chart. It was claimed by major record labels that singles were cannibalizing album sales, so they were slowly phased out. During this period, accusations began to fly of chart manipulation as labels would hold off on releasing a single until airplay was at its absolute peak, thus prompting a top ten or, in some cases, a number one debut. In many cases, a label would delete a single from its catalog after only one week, thus allowing the song to enter the Hot , make a high debut and then slowly decline in position as the one-time production of the retail single sold out. It was during this period that several popular mainstream hits never charted on the Hot , or charted well after their airplay had declined. During the period that they were not released as singles, the songs were not eligible to chart. Many of these songs dominated the Hot Airplay chart for extended periods of time:
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