But a few years ago, Spotify, Rdio, and other streaming services began promoting portable playlists that anyone could create and consume, online and offline. They traded on the very concept of curation that Billboard had mastered. But while the publication was a pioneer in top-music list-making, it was the streaming services that made those lists playable.
Billboard's new rebranding initiative is its attempt to take back control of the game it started. Last week it launched a revamped print glossy, an iPad app, and websites that included a new portable playlist feature on Billboard.com.
"If a typical fan can’t experience us in a way they want, we might as well not have that 70 years of charting music history," says Billboard's editorial director Bill Werde.
Now, you can export charts and songs from Billboard.com as playlists within the music streaming services you probably already use, namely Spotify, Rdio, and Myspace. The exportable playlists are part of Billboard's push to reach users wherever they're experiencing music, whether on a desktop or a mobile device, Werde says.
The idea of exporting portable morsels of Billboard content also permeates other new site features. For example, as you scroll through photo galleries, you can now share individual photos to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest.
"We started to build on the idea that charts could be great jumping-off points for discovery," Werde says. "Now, we’re taking that a step further and we’re compiling more and more accessible content into the charting experience itself. We’re creating lots and lots of windows for you."
[Image: Flickr user hyekab25]