On This Day: Billboard Magazine First Published

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220px-Billboard03_1896Known as the “Music Business Bible,” Billboard publishes sales/airplay charts for recorded music and does trade journalism reporting on the music industry. When it first came into existence on November 1, 1894, there was no recorded music.

Its original name was Billboard Advertising, and it was a trade publication for the bill posting business, a common form of street advertising in the say. It was published monthly in Cincinnati, OH, eight pages in length and 10 cents an issue and 90 cents for an annual subscription.

Entertainment did become a part of Billboard‘s purview some two years later when it added its Fair Department, which covered traveling fairs, carnivals and other outdoor amusements, which were large and frequent users of bill advertising. It first began following music in 1913 when Billboard began to publish sheet music sales charts and started covering radio in the 1920s. The magazine’s first music charts started in the next decade with the introduction of the jukebox, tracking three genres: Pop, Rhythm & Blues, and Country & Western.

billboard_hot100Billboard as we largely know it today began in 1961 when it spun off coverage of television and fairs, amusement parks, circuses and such and TV into two separate publications. In 1961 the magazine was renamed Billboard Music Week and two years later was shortened to Billboard. Since then the publication has remained apace with changes in music by revising and adding to its charts, although the Hot 100 singles chart and Top 200 album chart remain staples.

Although it is a trade magazine, Billboard is known to consumers thanks to its charts being used for the syndicated radio show American Top 40 from 1970 to 1995 and the annual Billboard Music Awards TV show televised from 1989 to 2007, then returning to the air in 2011. Today it has an online consumer site, billboard.com, and a separate business site, as well as the print magazine. It is the international music industry publication of record as well as one of the oldest continually published magazines in America.

Related: Our story on the Hot 100

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  1. MisterGary
    #1 MisterGary 21 December, 2017, 01:46

    I loved classical music from billboard magazine , bring back the charts again to the magazine

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