Acknowledging the ever-increasing number of unsigned, independent artists, Billboard has unveiled a new chart and introduced a new strategy in an effort to regain relevance in an increasingly fragmented music business. According to an article in today’s (9/10) Wall Street Journal, the magazine is getting ready to launch a new ranking for undiscovered and unsigned artists, along with a subscription service designed to help those acts increase their visibility among talent-seeking managers, promoters and labels.
For a yearly fee of around $100, unsigned artists will be able to upload their music to the Web and track their exposure on a range of outlets, from Twitter and music blogs to radio airplay and sales. In addition, Billboard will apply those metrics to a new “Dreamseekers” chart, comprised of aspiring artists.
MySpace Music will partner with Billboard in promoting this new product, which will appear regularly in Billboard and on the magazine’s website. Billboard is also in discussions with several networks about possible related TV programming.
“Everybody has to modernize,” said Richard Beckman, Chief Executive Officer of E5 Global Media, the company that was formed to purchase Billboard from Neilsen Media last December. “We want to be the catalytic force to help the industry monetize itself. It’s a lofty goal, but I think we have the juice to do that.”
Read the Wall St. Journal article here.