Charles Nii Armah Mensah Jr. ‘Shatta Wale’ is the latest Ghanaian artiste to debut on the prestigious Billboard Charts.
The first Ghana-based artiste to ever make it onto the World Albums charts is afro-dancehall star Stonebwoy. He debuted in March this year with his “Epistles of Mama” album and peaked at 13.
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Shatta Wale debuted at number 6 on the World Album category with “Reign” album – less than two weeks after release.
He has been praised for achieving such a feat but some people seem lost about what goes into earning a spot on the Billboard Charts.
Billboard has a variety of charts – and World Albums chart, which listed Shatta Wale is just one of them. The ultimate charts are Top 40, Hot 100, Billboard 200, and other individual charts like pop, hip-hop/RnB and dance/electronic.
For starters, Billboard has been measuring music success since 1940. They track data from musicians’ works and rank them by numbers.
There are so many factors they take into considering before listing musicians on their various chart but there are three major factors – which Shatta Wale may have succeeded in clinching.
Streaming and social media interactions
Shatta Wale’s social media fan base is undoubtedly the biggest in Ghana – and this could be the reason why he grabbed a spot on Billboard Charts.
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Billboard recently factored streaming and social interactions on Twitter, Facebook, Vevo, YouTube, Spotify, and other popular music websites like Slacker and Rdio into their ranking datum.
All the trending hashtags on Twitter, mentioning and sharing of links on Facebook, YouTube trends and views for his videos off the album and Spotify and iTunes streaming records could link to Shatta Wale’s success.
Album sales on iTunes and other stores
Album sales are one of the major reasons why Shatta Wale’s debuted on the World Albums chart. Shatta Wale didn’t earn the spot by submitting the “Reign” album to Billboard for consideration – it was done true tracking system.
SoundScan, an information system created by Nielsen is used by Billboard to track sales of music and music videos in the United States and Canada. The system collects sales information from over 14,000 retail and nontraditional sources such as online stores and concert sales. For instance, to enter Billboard’s Heatseeker Albums chart, you need to sell, on average, 450 to 500 albums in the first week.
Radio and TV airplay
Radio and TV airplay accounted to Shatta Wale’s debut on the Billboard Charts.
Billboard uses Broadcast Data Systems (BDS) created by Nielsen to identify songs that air on radio and TV channels across the United States and Canada. This process is done 24/7 and captures over 100 million songs annually.
The data from BDS is used not only by Billboard, but also by radio stations, record company executives, publishing firms, performance rights organizations, music retailers, and film and TV producers.
If Shatta Wale peaks at number 1 for a couple of weeks, he may head to Billboard Award 2019.