Earlier today came news that Billboard, the well known music analytics company, was repositioning its homepage to serve as a consumer-friendly destination for music fans rather than the B2B hub it had been before. Alongside the release, the company has informed us that it’s planning to make its API more accesible to developers, with the hopes that it will spur a new wave of music-related applications built around the data. Developers can access the API at developer.billboard.com.
Billboard has been churning out charts featuring popular music since the 1940s, with its most well known chart, the Hot 100, making its debut in 1958. These vast volumes of data can be used in any number of ways, from tracking overall trends to charting the success of an individual artist over time (you can see an example use of the data in this piece on Michael Jackson in the New York Times). In short, the data is something of a goldmine for data-hungry music fans.
Billboard is hoping that the new API will serve to make the site one of the foundations that music mashups are built around, in much the same way the Google Maps API has become a cornerstone for countless mashups. That’s much easier said than done, of course, and I doubt that the data will be as broadly useful. Still, we can likely look forward to some very cool projects in the near future.
Billboard actually opened its API early this year, but up until now it has done a minimal amount of marketing around it (the company was still primarily concerned with its B2B offerings).
Today’s news was also a major win for Lala, the very cool music startup that may have finally found the right formula for actually making money. The service now powers Billboard’s site-wide music player, offering immediate playback of many of Billboard’s top songs.