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What do paid surveys online and the Billboard Hot 100 have in common?

Have you ever wondered how the music reaches the "top of the charts?" Who designates what reaches the charts in the first place, and what criteria do artists have to follow? 

Believe it or not, the process is similar to how businesses create the most successful products using insights from paid surveys. In essence, it all comes down to popular opinion, but both processes are more complicated when you dive a little deeper. Here's a breakdown for both that will help highlight the similarities when you look at the big picture.

How are the Hot 100 chosen?
The Hot 100 is regularly changed and reorganized by Billboard. In fact, the organization creates dozens of top 50, top 100 and similar lists for music categorized by genre. But Billboard can't just individually sift through every single album or song that's published to measure what's hot and what's not. With new music created at a lightning pace on a daily basis, that would be an impossible task.

Instead, Billboard ranks popularity based on what it calls, "key fan interactions with music." This is where the popularity bit becomes important. Songs reach the charts based on, "album sales and downloads, track downloads, radio airplay and touring as well as streaming and social interactions on Facebook, Twitter, Vevo, Youtube, Spotify and other popular online destinations for music," the organization's website notes. In other words, the more popular the song is, the greater the likelihood that you'll see it on the top charts.

But the analysis doesn't stop with the song that garners the most Facebook traffic. It's safe to say the context of the fan interactions matter as well. For example, if a song collected dozens of shares and social media interactions because of how bad it was, it's less likely it will receive the benefit of a Hot 100 mention.

How is this similar to paid surveys?
Fundamentally, businesses use a very similar process when creating products. Instead of key fan interactions, they use product reviews and paid online surveys completed by consumers like you. Hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of people reflect on the quality of an item, and those insights are used to guide business decisions in developing a product. The result is that the most popular products with the most positive reviews are created thanks to the opinions of the majority of people.

Compared to Billboard, both systems rely on the feedback from the greatest number of people. Billboard creates a comprehensive list that is statistically predicted to please the greatest amount of listeners, and companies create a product statistically predicted to satisfy the most buyers. 

The biggest difference is where the data comes from. While businesses have the benefit of find their answers before selling the item, artists don't get this same guarantee. Their music needs to be produced, distributed and listened to on the radio the Web and beyond to be judged.


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