I am really happy with the changes that I made leading into September, so I am going to expand upon them to get the chart closer to what I feel is its peak!
With that said, here’s the changes that will take place for the first chart of 2020 (the 12/29/19-1/4/2020 chart):
- I will be increasing the amount of songs promoted from one level to the next, with the number of songs decreasing the higher the level. 15 songs will be promoted each week from the Entry Levels to Level 1; 9 from Level 1 to Level 2; 8 from Level 2 to 3; 7 from Level 3 to 4, 6 from Level 4 to 5, 5 from Level 5 to 6, 4 from Level 6 to 7, 3 from Level 7 to 8, 2 from Level 8 to 9 and 1 from Level 9 to Level 10.
The first reason behind this is to allow for a variable amount of songs on a level (we were stuck with 5 songs on each level with nothing that would change that immediately). Next, the decreasing numbers allow for it to be harder to be promoted as a song gets to the higher levels.
- I will be changing the number of votes on each poll and changing the Entry Level Polls. First, there will be only one poll for the Entry Level songs; for this new poll, we will be required to vote for AT LEAST 10 songs (I have finally figured out how to do that). For Levels 1 through 5, we will be voting for EXACTLY 5 songs on each poll. Lastly, for Levels 6 through 10, we will vote for only one song.
With more songs being promoted, I felt we needed to increase the votes without making it too easy for songs to be promoted (that’s why I chose 5). Once we get to a poll where less than 5 songs are being promoted, I decided to remain at one vote to increase the difficulty for a song to be promoted (I feel songs have to earn their way to the top, so a little bit of difficulty is fine). Also, now that I have figured out where the “at least” and “exactly” options are on Google forms, I am going to start using them.
- With the changes, I am modifying my Points System. First, my “Place Points” will be modified to account for more songs being promoted (see the new format here). I will also be tweaking my “Percentage Points” to account for the fact that requiring 5 votes on Levels 1 through 5 will make the percentages add to 500 instead of 100. In order to account for that, I will be taking the percentage of votes earned by songs on Levels 6 through 10 and multiplying them by 5, which will even out the “Percentage Points” to about 500 per level (may be a little off due to rounding).
During 2019, I had no longer guaranteed songs points. Songs on the Entry Level only got points if they were being promoted; songs did not earn points based on the percent of the vote they received. I have decided that songs on the Entry Level will still get Place Points if they are being promoted, but now every song on the Entry Level will get a point for each vote they receive (this will be recorded as “Percentage Points” though it is not exactly the same as the rest of the chart). Now as long as song gets a vote, it will get points that week.
- I am changing the retirement formula for ALL levels to be the same instead of having two separate ones. This formula will still be based on weeks, with it being simplified to be the number of weeks decreased by 4 (so % = w – 4).
I figure with the increased number of songs and votes, that the current percent formula might be a little too difficult. To account for that and the fact I use two different formulas, I have a new formula to use. Now, I will evaluate my use of this formula until my first vacation week, changing it if I see that it is causing too many or too few songs to be retired because of it each week.
Tying into this, I am making a small change to what songs are eligible for retirement. From the Entry Level to Level 9, the Top 5 or the number being promoted, whichever is higher, are not eligible for retirement.
- I am going to change the one song in the voting at a time policy. Instead, I am going to add one song a week if an artist has multiple songs qualify for the voting (like happens a lot for the Roots songs because of how songs appear on the Roots Music Report). I will begin adding songs from my Waiting List because of the one song policy beginning with the first chart of 2020. A few things this allows me to do are…1) to keep my Waiting List short so it is only for songs that are waiting for a release date, the artist is asking for me to hold it until later, and to keep all the songs relatively current…2) add a new song to the voting for the national artists (USA, CAN, AUS sources) when they release a new single while their previous single still is in my voting (it’s happening a lot more lately, especially with USA artists who are popular enough to release 3 or 4 singles a year)…AND 3) I will be able to properly work with the last new change for 2020…
- I am going to pay tribute to my favorite decade of Country Music by adding all the Billboard and Radio & Records #1 songs from the 1990s to my voting!
I have access to see what songs were #1 each week on both charts. Any song that was #1 on either chart will be added on the week equivalent to when it was #1 so we get roughly the 30th anniversary. For the situations where songs were #1 on both charts, but on different weeks, I will add the song the week it reached #1 on Radio and Records (the data I got for those charts actually lines up to the 30th anniversary).
I will add songs until the 30th anniversary of my chart in February 2028, ending there as not to add songs who already has a proper run during the early days of my chart (this is subject to change based on what input I receive).
NOTES: 1) because of how frequently artists got #1s during some parts of the 1990s (some had 4 in a year!), my Waiting List change will allow an artist to have their #1s added without having to wait for a previous song to be retired. 2) I will add the first song beginning with the chart week of 1/5-1/11/2020.
If you have any questions on these changes, feel free to post them here and I will do my best to answer them.
UPDATE: I came up with another minor change that I will be implementing. I am tweaking my Level 10 rules when it comes to retirement. Currently, Last Place has been removed unless they were the safe song; then, the next-to-last song would be retired. From now on, the Last Place song will be retired unless it is the safe song, but if it is, then no song will be retired. To summarize: Last Place on the Level 10 Poll will be retired unless it is the safe song; if it is the safe song, then no song will be retired this way.
UPDATE #2: I am ending my “Encore” week policy avoid confusion. From now on, if a song is retired from the voting, it is immediately retired from the chart.