The venerable music trade magazine Billboard is finally shifting its publication and chart dates to closer match the real world. Starting in 2018, Billboard Magazine issues and charts within it will be dated to the Saturday of the week that that the magazine is shipped. Currently, Billboard issues are dated to the Saturday in the week following shipment.
For Billboard.com, the adjustment will result in charts being dated to the Saturday following their posting, or four days after the Tuesday refresh of all rankings on the website. Currently, charts are dated 11 days after first posting online (or, to the second Saturday after charts post).
The first Billboard issue of 2018 will be dated Saturday, Jan. 6; since Monday, Jan. 1, is a holiday, its corresponding charts will post online a day later than usual, on that Wednesday, Jan. 3. From there, in all non-holiday weeks, charts will post each Tuesday and be dated to the Saturday four days later. As an example, the issue dated Jan. 27 will arrive four days after its corresponding charts (also dated Jan. 27) post online Jan. 23. (That issue will arrive on newsstands Friday, Jan. 26.)
As for data tracking weeks for Billboard‘s charts, the Billboard Hot 100, for example, dated Jan. 27 will cover streaming and sales data from Friday, Jan. 12, through Thursday, Jan. 18, and radio airplay data from Monday, Jan. 15 through Sunday, Jan. 21 (as airplay follows a different tracking week than sales and streaming). The Billboard 200 albums chart dated Jan. 27 will encompass sales and streaming data for the Jan. 12 through Jan. 18 tracking week.
To arrive at this adjustment, Billboard charts set to post online Wednesday, Dec. 27 (following a holiday week release schedule) will be dated Wednesday, Jan. 3, one of the rare times that a Billboard chart date will not correspond to a Saturday. There is no printed issue of Billboard that week.
The release/date schedule outlining this migration:
Chart date: Saturday, Dec. 30
- Billboard.com charts posting date: Tuesday, Dec. 19
- Billboard issue date: Saturday, Dec. 30 (Year-End No. 1s/double issue)
Chart date: Wednesday, Jan. 3
- Billboard.com charts posting date: Wednesday, Dec. 27 (holiday schedule)
- Billboard issue date: No Issue
Chart date: Saturday, Jan. 6
- Billboard.com charts posting date: Wednesday, Jan. 3 (holiday schedule)