Billboard schools Tekashi 6ix9ine over alleged manipulation of chart to favor Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande
'Stuck With U' drew 28.1 million streams, 26.3 million in radio airplay audience and 108,000 sold while 'Gooba' had 55.3 million streams, 172,000 in radio airplay audience and 24,000 sold
Billboard has responded to Tekashi 6ix9ine's accusations that they were manipulating the charts. The rapper released his first song 'GOOBA' on May 8 not long after his release from prison last month. Billboard reported that the track ranked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It followed 'Say So' by Nicki Minaj at No. 2 and Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande's 'Stuck With U' at No. 1.
Before the announcement of 'GOOBA''s No. 3 chart position, Tekashi posted a video on his Instagram which accused Billboard of corruption and claimed to reveal proof. In the clip, Tekashi opens an email on his phone which was purportedly sent to major record labels on May 14, and a chart forecast. He claims 'Stuck With U' jumped from No. 5 to No. 1 overnight. The rapper also made another post on May 18 accusing the publisher of dishonest chart calculations. “@Billboard caught cheating,” Tekashi wrote. “You’re a lie and corrupt. You got caught cheating and the world will know," he added.
Billboard has taken a moment to school Tekashi in an article titled 'How Billboard Came to Its Calculations in This Week’s Race For the Hot 100 No. 1'. The Billboard staff detail their process for determining the Hot 100 chart and address every accusation made by the rapper. “In the interest of transparency, Billboard wanted to clear up the Hot 100’s chart rules and tabulation process, the calculations that go into the determinations of its final rankings, and the stats accumulated by the two singles that marked this week’s highest debuts,” Billboard wrote.
Billboard also cleared the discrepancy between YouTube’s visible number of plays for 'GOOBA' are global plays, while Billboard only counts U.S.-based plays for its charts.
Billboard responded to the Hot 100 forecast that Tekashi referenced in his Insta video. They wrote, "The chart forecast referenced was not created nor provided by Billboard to the industry. Those with access to sales, streaming and radio data from various sources often create their own chart models and update them at their own frequency. Billboard does not distribute any Hot 100 ranking forecast to labels, management or artists."
They also addressed why the sudden rise in sales for 'Stuck With U'. They wrote that the track "was available to purchase through the week as a digital download, as well as in various physical format/digital download combinations through Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber’s webstores." Billboard noted, "The sales spike is likely referring to sales on Thursday, May 14—the final day of the tracking week—when signed 'Stuck With U' singles were put up for sale in Grande and Bieber’s webstores."
They continued, "A signed single or album is an accepted form of sales available to any artist and has been noted repeatedly within Billboard chart stories when such items have impacted the Hot 100. 6ix9ine, meanwhile, released a non-signed CD single/digital download on the last day of the tracking week via his webstore."
"As noted in this week’s story announcing the results on the latest Hot 100, “Stuck With U” sold 108,000 in the tracking week ending May 14 and “Gooba” sold 24,000, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data," they concluded.
Billboard also shared how the Hot 100 chart's multi-metric calculations are tabulated (leading to this week's results). "The Hot 100 has a locked-in methodology, updated at least once a year, with each metric divided by a certain number, which results in an average chart ratio whereby streams are the most heavily weighted factor, followed next by radio airplay and then sales," Billboard wrote, before adding, "Each song has its own ratio breakdown based on its specific activity, which contributes to the overall chart average each week .
"Overall, 'Stuck With U' drew 28.1 million U.S. streams, 26.3 million in radio airplay audience and 108,000 sold in the tracking week. 'Gooba' had 55.3 million U.S. streams, 172,000 in radio airplay audience and 24,000 sold." They concluded by noting that "Those sums resulted in the songs’ respective rankings on this week’s Hot 100."
Meanwhile, Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande have slammed Tekashi for his accusations. Read more on that here.