Twitter and Billboard are set to launch a new chart that will rank which music is being shared and tweeted about the most in real-time.

It will be called the ‘Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts’ and be available on Billboard.com. The leaderboard will rank the most popular tracks being talked about at any one time, as well as those that have remained popular over a longer period. Billboard and Twitter also want to use the chart to highlight “the most talked about and shared songs by new and upcoming acts”.

Billboard said the new music charts are part of an exclusive, multi-year partnership that it’s signed with Twitter. They’ll be co-branded and also promoted through Billboard’s Twitter account throughout the week.

“Twitter is where the music of the moment is discovered and discussed — every day, new songs and new artists are breaking on the platform,” said Bob Moczydlowsky, Twitter’s head of music. “We’re partnering with Billboard to create a ground-breaking chart to track the conversation around music as it happens. This means when artists share songs and engage with their audience on Twitter, the buzz they create will now be visible to fans, other musicians and industry decision makers in real-time.”

It’s an interesting idea. Charts are usually centered on record sales, or the number of times a particular track has been played on a music streaming service. Twitter will be focused on quantifying the level of hype and online chatter about them instead, which is unusual for the music industry.

As part of the deal, Twitter is also making Billboard one of its Twitter Amplify partners. That means the company will be able to publish custom charts and video highlight reels inside its tweets –  a significant leap forward from what’s currently possible for brands on Twitter.

“Our goal with these efforts is to give artists who share songs and engage with their audience on Twitter a way to get noticed by even more fans, other musicians and industry decision-makers in real time,” Twitter said on its blog.

The move comes less than a week after Twitter announced it would be shutting down its #Music app for iOS devices. The service helped listeners to discover which artists and tracks were currently popular on Twitter, and also listen to them through connected services such as Spotify. With a difficult UI and no streaming service of its own, it failed to take off and quickly slipped out of the top rankings in the App Store.

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal said Twitter would continue to develop its music strategy, with a renewed focus around “music conversations and content”. This Billboard partnership sounds like its first step in that new role.

Top Image Credit: DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images