Whether you’re an artist, producer, singer, manager, or label, it’s a pretty special accolade to gain traction in the upward ranks of the famous Billboard Charts. Anywhere from the mainstream “Hot 100” to the “Global 200” charts, it is something heavily recognized in the music industry, and even more so today with how much music has become a digital metric-based form of sonic consumption and business. In essence, the Billboard Charts are a weekly ranked list of songs and albums based on their popularity, driven by streams, sales, and airplay. These factors determine the chart placement of either a single or whole album’s success and can move up or down the charts in relation to the metrics and/or performance of other competing music. They are published in the iconic Billboard Magazine among other places, and have been a golden target for all musical successes since their inception in 1913…over a century ago!
So the big question is, how do you get your music on the Billboard Charts? It is actually quite simple, and you don’t need to be signed with a major record label to do so. In fact, you can register your songs into the Billboard Charts as an independent artist, and with a good business plan and promotional campaign, you may even take over the mainstream Billboard successes of today with a hit record. So without further ado, let’s get to the top of those charts.
Step One: Get Your Assets Ready
The first step to getting your music registered and ready to blast to the top of the Billboard Charts is to gather your assets, both on the single and album level. Through your distributor, you should be able to get the ISRC code for each individual single track. ISRC stands for “International Recording Standard Code” and is a unique assigned code to each single musical track that allows the rightsholder to identify and track their recording in perpetuity. In addition, you’ll need the UPC code for the album as well (even if it is still a one-song single recording). A UPC code, or “Universal Product Code” is like a barcode for tracking the sales and data of a whole album unit. So in short, collect the ISRC and UPC codes via your distributor and have them ready for launch.
Step Two: Register Your Song Information on Luminate (Formerly Nielsen Soundscan)
For the next step, once you have your ISRC and UPC codes ready just head to Luminate. This site will then give you two options that generate two forms to fill out.
One is for your “ISRC” information on the single-record level (view form).
The next is for the “Title/EAN/UPC Registration” (view form).
This process is pretty self-explanatory just as long as you then enter all of the information correctly regarding the music to be registered - and don’t forget to do both - on the ISRC level and Title/EAN/UPC level.
Step Three: Timing of Registration
In the previous step, you’ll notice that you input release dates, price, etc. - this is important to be aware of because you can enter this information (which we at Playlist Push recommend) before your music is released and once ingested into the DSPs/stores. This all depends on your release strategy and promotional campaign around the record, but generally 1-2 months out is ideal - very similar to how you want to make sure to pitch your Spotify release in Spotify for Artists with enough time before the actual public release day. Here is where you and your strategy can get a bit of a leg up on the charts, by pushing pre-saves, pre-orders, and all-around buzz and excitement before your release.
Step Four: Promote Your Release
The final and most fun step is getting your music out. Before and after you release your record, it’s critical to have a strong marketing and promo strategy and plan of attack. As mentioned above, the Billboard Charts gather metrics to rank singles and albums based on streams, sales, and airplay, so the more push you have from all avenues of listening audiences, the more they will have a chance to rise up the charts. Playlist Push can give you that sharp edge for success with both Spotify streams and Tik Tok metrics, helping your chances of climbing the charts and captivating the world with your music.