Billboard (styled as billboard) is an American entertainment media
brand owned by the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group, a
division of Eldridge Industries. It publishes pieces involving news,
video, opinion, reviews, events, and style. It is also known for its
music charts, including the
Billboard Hot 100
1.1 Early history 1.2 Focus on music 1.3 Changes in ownership 1.4 1990s–present
2 News publishing 3 Listicles 4 Archives 5 See also 6 Notes 7 References 8 External links
History Early history
The first issue of Billboard in 1894
The first issue of Billboard was published in Cincinnati, Ohio, on
November 1, 1894, by William Donaldson and James Hennegan.
Initially, it covered the advertising and bill posting industry and
was called Billboard Advertising.[a] At the time, billboards,
posters and paper advertisements placed in public spaces were the
primary means of advertising. Donaldson handled editorial and
advertising, while Hennegan, who owned Hennegan Printing Co., managed
magazine production. The first issues were just eight pages long.
The paper had columns like "The Bill Room Gossip" and "The
Indefatigable and Tireless Industry of the Bill Poster". A
department for agricultural fairs was established in 1896. The
title was changed to The Billboard in 1897.
After a brief departure over editorial differences, Donaldson
purchased Hennegan's interest in the business in 1900 for $500 (equal
to $14,700 today), to save it from bankruptcy. That May,
Donaldson changed it from a monthly to a weekly paper with a greater
emphasis on breaking news. He improved editorial quality and opened
new offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, London and
Paris. He also re-focused the magazine on outdoor entertainment
like fairs, carnivals, circuses, vaudeville and burlesque shows.
A section devoted to circuses was introduced in 1900, followed by more
prominent coverage of outdoor events in 1901. Billboard also
covered topics including regulation, a lack of professionalism,
economics and new shows. It had a "stage gossip" column covering the
private lives of entertainers, a "tent show" section covering
traveling shows and a sub-section called "Freaks to order".
According to The Seattle Times, Donaldson also published news articles
"attacking censorship, praising productions exhibiting 'good taste'
and fighting yellow journalism".
As railroads became more developed, Billboard set up a mail forwarding
system for traveling entertainers. The location of an entertainer was
tracked in the paper's Routes Ahead column, then Billboard would
receive mail on the star's behalf and publish a notice in its
"Letter-Box" column that it has mail for them. This service was
first introduced in 1904. It became one of Billboard's largest sources
of profit and celebrity connections. By 1914, there were 42,000
people using the service. It was also used as the official address
of traveling entertainers for draft letters during World War I. In
the 1960s, when it was discontinued, Billboard was still processing
1,500 letters per week.
In 1920, Donaldson made a controversial move by hiring an
African-American journalist James Albert Jackson to write a weekly
column devoted to African-American performers. According to The
Business of Culture: Strategic Perspectives on Entertainment and
Media, the column identified discrimination against black performers
and helped validate their careers. Jackson was the first black
critic at a national magazine with a predominantly white audience.
According to his grandson, Donaldson also established a policy against
identifying performers by their race. Donaldson died in 1925.
Focus on music
Billboard's editorial changed focus as technology in recording and
playback developed. It covered "marvels of modern technology" like the
phonograph, record players and wireless radios. It began covering
coin-operated entertainment machines in 1899 and created a dedicated
section for them called "Amusement Machines" in March 1932.
Billboard began covering the motion picture industry in 1907, but
ended up focusing on music due to competition from Variety. It
created a Billboard radio broadcasting station in the 1920s.
The jukebox industry continued to grow through the Great Depression
and advertised heavily in Billboard.:262 This led to even more
editorial focus on music. The proliferation of the phonograph and
radio also contributed to its growing music emphasis. Billboard
published the first music hit parade on January 4, 1936, and
introduced a "Record Buying Guide" in January 1939. In 1940, it
introduced "Chart Line", which tracks the best-selling records. This
was followed by a chart for jukebox records in 1944 called Music
BoxMachine charts. By the 1940s, Billboard was more of a music
industry specialist publication. The number of charts it published
grew after World War II, due to a growing variety of music interests
and genres. It had eight charts by 1987, covering different genres and
formats, and 28 charts by 1994.
By 1943, it had about 100 employees. The magazine's offices moved
to Brighton, Ohio in 1946, then to New York City in 1948. A
five-column tabloid format was adopted in November 1950 and coated
paper was first used in Billboard's print issues in January 1963,
allowing for photojournalism. Billboard Publications Inc. acquired
a monthly trade magazine for candy and cigarette machine vendors
called Vend and, in the 1950s, acquired an advertising trade
publication called Tide. By 1969, Billboard Publications Inc. owned
eleven trade and consumer publications, a publisher called
Watson-Guptill Publications, a set of self-study cassette tapes and
four television franchises. It also acquired Photo Weekly that
Over time, the subjects Billboard still covered outside of music were
spun-off into separate publications. Funspot magazine was created in
1957 to cover amusement parks and Amusement Business was created in
1961 to cover outdoor entertainment. In January 1961, Billboard was
renamed to Billboard Music Week to emphasize its new exclusive
interest in music. Two years later, it was renamed to just
Billboard. According to The New Business Journalism, by 1984,
Billboard Publications was a "prosperous" conglomerate of trade
magazines and Billboard had become the "undisputed leader" in music
industry news. In the early 1990s, Billboard introduced Billboard
Airplay Monitors, a publication for disc jockeys and music
programmers. By the end of the 1990s, Billboard dubbed itself the
"bible" of the recording industry.
Changes in ownership
Billboard struggled after its founder William Donaldson died in 1925
and within three years was once again heading towards bankruptcy.
Donaldson's son-in-law Roger Littleford took over in 1928 and "nursed
the publication back to health". His sons, Bill and Roger,
became co-publishers in 1946 and inherited the publication in the
late 1970s after Roger Littleford's death. They sold it to private
investors in 1985 for an estimated $40 million. The investors cut
costs and acquired a trade publication for the Broadway theatre
industry called Backstage.
In 1987, Billboard was sold again to Affiliated Publications for $100
million. Billboard Publications Inc. became a subsidiary of
Affiliated Publications called BPI Communications. As BPI
Communications, it acquired The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek, Marketing
Week and Mediaweek. It purchased Broadcast Data Systems, which is a
high-tech firm for tracking music airtime. Private investors from
Boston Ventures and BPI executives re-purchased a two-thirds interest
in Billboard Publications for $100 million and more acquisitions
followed. In 1993, it created a division called Billboard Music Group
for music-related publications.
In 1994, Billboard Publications was sold to a Dutch media
Verenigde Nederlandse Uitgeverijen (VNU), for $220
million.[b] VNU acquired the
Hot 100: A chart of the top 100 most popular songs that week Topline: News from the week The Beat: Hitmaker interviews, gossip and trends in the music industry Style: Fashion and accessories Features: In-depth interviews, profiles and photography Reviews: Reviews of new albums and songs Backstage pass: information about events and concerts Charts and CODA: More information about current and historical Billboard Charts
Listicles Billboard is known for publishing several annual listicles on its website, which recognizes the most influential executives, artists and companies in the music industry, such as the following:
21 Under 21 40 Under 40 Billboard Power 100 Digital Power Players Hip-Hop Power Players Indie Power Players Latin Power Players
Archives Selected Billboard digital archives
1940–2010 archived online by Google Books
2005–2009 archived online by Billboard
1938–2009 (missing issues), archived by American
Billboard Touring Awards
^ Some sources say it was called The Billboard Advertiser ^ 19 publications according to the Chicago Tribune
^ a b c "Media Kit" (PDF). Billboard. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Anand, N. (2006). "Charting the Music
Business: Magazine and the Development of the Commercial Music Field".
In Lampel, Joseph; Shamsie, Jamal; Lant, Theresa. The Business of
Culture: Strategic Perspectives on Entertainment and Media. Series in
Organization and Management. Taylor & Francis. p. 140.
ISBN 978-1-135-60923-8. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
^ Broven, J. (2009). Record Makers and Breakers: Voices of the
Independent Rock 'n' Roll Pioneers. Music in American life. University
of Illinois Press. p. 187. ISBN 978-0-252-03290-5. Retrieved
November 5, 2015.
^ a b c Gussow., Don (1984). The New Business of Journalism: An
Insider's Look at the Workings of America's Business Press. Harcourt
Brace Jovanovich. pp. 32–33. ISBN 0-15-165202-3.
^ a b c d e f g h Godfrey, Donald G.; Leigh, Frederic A. (1998).
Historical Dictionary of American Radio. Westport, CT: Greenwood
Press. p. 45. ISBN 978-0-313-29636-9.
^ a b c "Hall of fame. (history's top personalities in the live
entertainment and amusement industry) (One hundredth-anniversary
collector's edition)". Amusement Business. November 1, 1994. Retrieved
November 7, 2015.
^ a b c d Writers' Program of the Works Projects Administration in the
State of Ohio (1943). Cincinnati, a Guide to the Queen City and Its
Neighbors. Best Books. p. 184. ISBN 978-1-62376-051-9.
Retrieved November 7, 2015.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Dinger, Ed. Nielsen
Business Media, Inc. International Directory of Company Histories. 98.
^ a b c d e f g h i j Hoffmann, Frank (2004). Encyclopedia of Recorded
Sound. Taylor & Francis. p. 212. ISBN 978-1-135-94950-1.
Retrieved November 5, 2015.
^ a b c d e f g Radel, Cliff (November 3, 1994). "Entertainment &
the Arts: Billboard Celebrates 100 Years Of Hits". The Seattle Times.
Retrieved November 6, 2015.
^ a b c "New Boss for Billboard". Newsweek. April 4, 1949.
^ a b Bloom, K. (2013). Broadway: An Encyclopedia. Taylor &
Francis. p. 83. ISBN 978-1-135-95020-0. Retrieved November
^ Sale, Jonathan (January 4, 1996). "Sixty years of hits, from Sinatra
to ... Sinatra". The Independent. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
^ a b c d Jackson, K.T.; Keller, L.; Flood, N. (2010). The
Encyclopedia of New York City: Second Edition. Yale University Press.
p. 638. ISBN 978-0-300-18257-6. Retrieved November 5,
^ "Dutch Buyer Acquires BPI". The New York Times. January 15, 1994.
Retrieved October 10, 2015.
^ "Dutch Firm To Purchase Billboard, Film Magazine". Chicago Tribune.
January 17, 1994. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
^ "VNU to Buy Nielsen Media In Deal Valued at $2.5 Billion". The Wall
Street Journal. August 17, 1999. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
^ Deliso, Meredith (January 18, 2007). "VNU Changes Name to the
Nielsen Co". Advertising Age. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
^ Ives, Nat (December 10, 2009). "
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Billboard magazine.
Official website Billboard Archive on Google Books
v t e
Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Rap Albums
Rock Albums Alternative Albums Hard Rock Albums Folk Albums
Top Country Albums
Top Latin Albums Regional Mexican Albums Latin Pop Albums Latin Rhythm Albums Tropical Albums
Heatseekers Albums Tastemaker Albums Dance/Electronic Albums Independent Albums Jazz Albums Reggae Albums Comedy Albums Kid Albums
Canadian Albums European Albums (defunct)
Singles and tracks
Dance Club Songs Hot Dance/Electronic Songs Dance/Mix Show Airplay Dance/Electronic Singles Sales (defunct) Dance/Electronic Digital Songs
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles Hot Rap Songs Hot R&B Songs Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Adult R&B Songs Rhythmic
Hot Rock Songs Mainstream Rock Alternative Triple A
Hot Country Songs Country Airplay
Hot Latin Songs Latin Pop Airplay Regional Mexican Airplay Tropical Airplay Latin Rhythm Airplay
Hot Christian Songs
Heatseekers Songs Smooth Jazz Songs
Brasil Hot 100 Airplay Canadian Hot 100 Euro Digital Songs Japan Hot 100 Philippine Hot 100 Kpop Hot 100 European Hot 100 (defunct) Türkiye Top 20 (defunct)
Lists of number-one albums and singles
Adult Contemporary Alternative Songs Billboard 200 Dance Club Songs Dance/Electronic Albums Dance/Mix Show Airplay Americana/Folk Albums Hot 100 Hot Country Songs Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs K-Pop Mainstream Rock Top Country Albums Year-End
Lists of artists who reached number one
US Canada Japan Dance Club Songs Dance/Mix Show Airplay Alternative Songs Mainstream Rock Adult Contemporary Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Rhythmic Hot Country Songs Adult Top 40 Mainstream Top 40 Latin Songs Social 50 Artist 100
Timeline List of K-pop on the Billboard charts Albums Songs
Billboard Philippines Billboard Twitter Real-Time Uncharted (defunct) Joel Whitburn
v t e
Lists of Billboard number-one singles
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1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
1940s 1950–1958 1958–1969 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s
Hot 100 Year-end
Billboard Hot 100
v t e
Billboard Hot 100
1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Number-one hits Billboard Year-End
v t e
Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles
1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
2010 2011 2012 2013 2