I was recently puzzled when I put together the week's top Country songs and found Taylor Swift occupying 3 of the Top 10 spots, something I can't ever recall happening in recent Country Music History. This is rare because an artist or record company usually only promotes one current single at time. After some investigating I found the reason why Taylor Swift and other pop stars may continue this domination on the Country charts.

In the past, The Billboard Country Music charts ranked a song's chart position by the amount of spins it received on the nation's top Country Music stations (like WGNA). Click here to learn more about the original system that would determine how a song would climb up the charts.  However, Billboard has now changed the system to include spins in other formats.  Therefore, an artist that 'crosses over' will get extra points for play on pop radio- pushing the song up the Country Music charts.

According to Taste of Country, "Billboard announced that starting Thursday (Oct. 11, 2012), its country airplay charts would no longer be based solely on country radio airplay (R&B/Hip-hop and Latin music charts were also affected). Instead, the chart would include airplay on other formats, as well as streaming sites like Spotify, plus digital sales data in determining the rankings." To learn more about the reasons for the change, click here.

I'm not sure if Country Music fans will even notice the chart ranking change or how it might help or hurt some artists, but it will be interesting to watch. As a fan of Country Music, who follows the business closely, I already noticed the change. When I was typing up the week's hottest songs, I was shocked at the No. 2 entry. I had never heard of the song, 'Red,' which Billboard was now listing as one of the hottest singles of the week.

One can only speculate that artists who are full-time Country Music singers, with no intention of crossover airplay, will have a more difficult time getting into the Top 10.

What are your thoughts on the change in the Billboard Country Chart system? (please leave your comments in the section below).

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