Definitions

Billboard_Year-End

Billboard Year-End

Billboard Year-End charts are a cumulative measure of a single or album's performance in the United States, based upon the Billboard magazine charts during any given chart year. Billboard's "chart year" runs from the first week of December to the final week in November. This altered calendar allows for Billboard to calculate year-end charts and release them in time for its final print issue on the last week of December. Prior to incorporating chart data from Nielsen SoundScan, year-end charts were calculated by an inverse-point system based solely on a title's performance (for example a single appearing on the Billboard Hot 100 would be given one point for a week spent at position 100, two points for a week spent at position ninety-nine... up to 100 points for each week spent at number one). Other factors including the total weeks a song spent on the chart and at its peak position were calculated into its year-end total. The same method was used for albums based on the Billboard 200, and songs appearing on the other charts (e.g., Hot Country Singles).

After Billboard began obtaining sales and airplay information from Nielsen SoundScan and Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems, the year-end charts are now calculated by a very straightforward cumulative total of yearlong sales (or sales and airplay) points. This gives a more accurate picture of any given year’s most popular titles, as an entry that hypothetically spent nine weeks at number one in March could possibly have earned fewer cumulative points than one spending six weeks at number three in January. Interestingly, albums at the peak of their popularity at the time of the November/December chart-year cutoff many times end up ranked lower than one would expect on a year-end tally, yet are ranked on the following year's chart as well, as their cumulative points are split between the two chart years.

Billboard Year-End number-ones

Top Pop Artists

Top Pop Artists (singles & albums) (1982-present)

Singles and Albums

Singles: Best Sellers in Stores (1955-1958), Billboard Hot 100 (1958-present)
Albums: Top LPs, Top Pop Albums (1956-1992), Billboard 200 (1992-present)

Year Top single Top album

Country

Country: Hot Country Singles/Singles & Tracks/Songs (1946-present)
Country: Hot Country Albums (1965-present)

Year Top single Top album

Sources

  • Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-2002 (ISBN 0-89820-155-1)
  • Joel Whitburn Presents the Billboard Albums, 6th edition, (ISBN 0-89820-166-7)
  • Additional information obtained can be verified within Billboard's online archive services and print editions of the magazine.

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