Billboard uses a computer algorithm to calculate which songs to put on its Hot 100 list. It takes into consideration the number of plays a song receives on radio stations and television music video channels, as well as considering the purchases of songs through retail and online stores.
Billboard gives more weight to radio and television plays than to song purchases. Because of this, the local or regional program directors of radio stations have significant influence over The Hot 100 list. Program directors use software applications to track the performance of songs with their target audiences. Record companies often use independent promoters to provide promotional support, influencing radio stations to play new songs.