Billboard Top 100 Chart: What Is It, How Is It Calculated, and How To Access It

Discover the inner workings of the Billboard Top 100 Chart. Uncover the Billboard Hot 100 ranking secrets, and explore how to keep up-to-date with the latest music trends.
Billboard top 100 chart image. Billboard hot 100. Image by Billboard.

Whether you’re a proud music enthusiast or enjoy jamming in the car, you’ve likely heard of the Top 100 Billboard chart. After all, it’s deemed the holy grail of music ranks and can dictate everything from the music played on the radio to what’s finding its way to your Spotify playlists. Filled with songs across various genres, it’s a well-rounded overview of what everyone’s listening to throughout the United States and even the world.

But have you ever wondered how this prestigious chart is calculated and how you can gain access to it? Let’s delve into the world of the Billboard Top 100 and uncover its secrets!

What Is the Billboard Top 100 Chart?

Billboard Top 100 Chart article. Black & white image of a record shelf with some records cover being displayed.
Photo by Chris Boland on Unsplash

In its simplest form, the Billboard Top 100 chart is a music ranking system that showcases the most popular songs in the United States. It tracks the relative weekly popularity of songs and albums and highlights the ones that resonate with listeners and dominates the airwaves. The chart tracks all music genres, from pop, rock, and hip-hop to country and folk, to offer a comprehensive picture of what’s being listened to.

Besides the Billboard Top 100, also releases the Billboard 200 and the Billboard Top 100 Artists. These are:

Billboard 200: Every week, Luminate (the Independent data provider to the Billboard charts) creates a list of the most popular albums. They do this by looking at how many albums are sold, how many songs from the album are bought individually, and how often the album’s songs are streamed online.
Billboard Top 100 Artists: This weekly chart ranks the top 100 artists in the United States according to album and track sales, radio airplay, and streaming.

How Is the Billboard Top 100 Calculated?

Billboard Top 100 Chart article. A big shelf full of records, with Nina Simone's record cover as the first to be displayed.
Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

Defining the Billboard Top 100 chart is one thing, but the well-rounded methods behind the calculation are what truly set it apart. The two main components are radio and song sales. Radio acts as a top-down medium, exposing new and trending songs to millions of Americans, while song sales provide more insight into the songs people listen to outside of the airways. Over time, the chart has also evolved to include digital media like YouTube and streaming platforms such as Spotify to ensure it’s correctly gauging listeners’ interests. Today, the chart relies on a combination of sales, airplay, and streaming to determine a song’s ranking.

The same base is used for other charts by Billboard, such as Billboard 200, Billboard Top 100 Artists, and Billboard Top 100 Albums.

Accessing the Billboard Top 100 Chart

Photo from Spotify

If you love keeping up-to-date with the hottest music trends, are curious about where your favorite song is at, or want to stay in the loop of the music scene’s pulse, you may be wondering how to access the Billboard Top 100 Chart. Here are your options:

Official Billboard Website: The official Billboard website is your go-to destination for accessing the coveted Billboard Top 100 Chart. With regular updates, interesting insights, and new articles, it’s the best place to get a comprehensive overview of the current music landscape.

Spotify Playlist: If you’re more interested in listening than tracking and learning about the songs, Spotify is the best go-to. Simply search for Billboard Hot 100, and you’ll have “this week’s most popular songs across all genres” at your fingertips.

If you use another streaming platform, don’t worry. TuneMyMusic allows you to effortlessly transfer the Billboard Top 100 playlist to your own account, whether you’re subscribed to Apple Music, Amazon Music, TIDAL, YouTube, Deezer, or another service.

Current Billboard Top 100 Chart

Now, let’s take a quick glance at some of the current top songs on the Billboard Top 100 chart.

  • 1. Last Night – Morgan Wallen (from the 2023 album: One Thing at a Time)
  • 2. Karma – Taylor Swift Featuring Ice Spice (from the 2022 album: Midnights)
  • 3. Flowers – Miley Cyrus (from the 2023 album: Endless Summer Vacation)
  • 4. All My Life – Lil Durk featuring J. Cole (from the 2023 album: Almost Healed)
  • 5. Calm Down – Rema & Selena Gomez (from the 2022 album: Rave & Roses)
  • 6. Kill Bill – SZA (from the 2022 album: SOS)
  • 7. Ella Baila Sola – Eslabon Armado & Peso Pluma
  • 8. Fast Car – Luke Combs (from the 2023 album: Gettin’ Old)
  • 9. Favorite Song – Toosii (from the 2023 album: Favorite Song)
  • 10. Creepin’ – Metro Boomin, The Weeknd & 21 Savage (from the 2022 album: Heroes & Villains)

Please keep in mind that the chart is regularly updated, so the rankings may vary over time. To stay up to date with the latest hits, make sure to check the Billboard website or check this snipped below with a preview of each song on the updated Billboard top 100 list:

FAQs of the Billboard Hot 100

How often is the Billboard Hot 100 chart updated?

The Billboard Top 100 (also known as Billboard Hot 100) chart is updated weekly and is typically released every Tuesday, reflecting the most current trends in music over the previous seven-day period.

What do the symbols or notations next to a song on the Hot 100 chart mean?

You may have noticed symbols next to songs on the Hot 100 chart–these give you additional insights into how songs are doing compared to previous weeks. Common symbols include:

  • ↑ (Up Arrow): Indicates a song that has moved up in position compared to the previous week.
  • ↓ (Down Arrow): Indicates a song that has moved down in position compared to the previous week.
  • → (Right Arrow): Indicates a song that has maintained its position from the previous week.
  • NEW: Indicates a song that has debuted on the Hot 100 chart.
  • RE or RE-ENTRY: Indicates a song that has re-entered the Hot 100 chart after previously falling off.
  • PEAK: Indicates the highest position a song has reached on the Hot 100 chart.

These symbols help provide a visual representation of a song’s movement, status, and achievements on the chart.

Can a song debut at number one on the Hot 100?

Absolutely! Highly anticipated releases with a strong buzz can generate an enormous amount of streams, sales, and radio airplay right from their initial drop. Examples of songs debuting at number one on the Hot 100 chart include Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off,” Justin Biebers ‘What Do You Mean,” Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On,” and Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone.” help provide a visual representation of a song’s movement, status, and achievements on the chart.

Are music videos and YouTube views considered in the Hot 100 chart calculations?

Yes, music videos and YouTube views play a role in the Hot 100 chart calculations. In recent years, Billboard has incorporated YouTube streams into its rankings, recognizing the impact of music videos and online viewership on a song’s popularity.

Do symbols like “↑” and “↓” represent the song’s overall popularity or just its position on the chart?

Symbols like”↑” and”↓” mainly represent a song’s movement in position on the Hot 100 chart compared to the previous week. They reflect changes in the song’s popularity relative to other songs on the chart during that specific timeframe but do not necessarily indicate the overall song popularity.

Access Billboard Top 100 on Apple Music, Deezer, Tidal, Amazon Music, and any other service

To have the updated Billboard Hot 100 on any music streaming service, you just need to access the updated playlist on Spotify, copy the link and transfer it to your account on any music platform (Deezer, Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon Music, and many others) using Tune My Music transfer feature. At the end of the transfer, you can even keep your playlists synced, so any change made to the original playlist, your playlist will also be updated.

These are the steps to do it:

  1. 1. Access and click on “Let’s start”
  2. 2. Select Spotify as your source. 
  3. 3. Get the link to the official Billboard Top 100 playlist on Spotify.
  4. 4. Past it as the playlist source from Spotify on TuneMyMusic and click on the “Load from URL” button.
  5. 5. The playlist will load. Click on the “Choose Destination” floating button.
  6. 6. Choose the destination platform you want to transfer the playlist.
  7. 7. The Step 4 page with the summary of your transfer will load. Click on “Start Transfer” to start your transfer. 
  8. 8. After a few seconds, your playlist will be created on your target platform. To keep it synced so it is always updated, click on Sync and follow the process to create a Sync with TuneMyMusic.