Last week the new Maroon5 single made the biggest jump to #1 in history, climbing 64-1 to take the top spot. This is great news, because it's further proof that we as consumers, via iTunes, are controlling the music charts again.
For a long time, from the mid 90s to early 00s, the charts were formulated based on radio airplay alone, which put way too much power in the hands of a few select radio programmers. But a couple of years ago, Billboard started including iTunes sales as part of its chart formula, and the changes have been monumental.
For one thing, pop artists can finally hit #1 again! I'm only slightly exaggerating when I say that wasn't possible before. During those 90s-00s dark days, only rap songs could reach the upper portions of the chart. Every once in a while, you'd have a pop artist get a fluke #1, like Clay Aiken and Kelly Clarkson, based on outrageous sales after the American Idol finals, but in general 90% of the songs in the top ten were hip hop. A lot of times I looked at the top ten and saw songs I'd never even heard of. These charts absolutely did NOT reflect what was truly going on in the world of popular music.
Now, when you look at the Billboard singles charts, you see a healthy supply of hip hop, but you also see Maroon5 and Avril and Gwen and The Fray. We are in total control! (Which also means we have to take responsibility for shit like Hinder and Fergie...)