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Billboard Top 100 Now Includes Downloads
The Hot 100 list was historically calculated from a combination of airplay and retail single sales, but in the late 90s with the decreasing availability of singles, radio play become the primary factor.
The new change provides more direct consumer influence on the rankings and has already seen their effects. According to the article:
Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" made the top five more because of its popularity online than radio airplay, said Silvio Pietroluongo, Hot 100 chart manager.
Similarly, 50 Cent's new single "Candy Shop" will jump from No. 30 to No. 8 next week because it is the most popular downloaded song, he said.