Rolling Stone Magazine is a bit of a mess right now. One week ago they cut ties with Chief Revenue Officer Andrew Budkofsky after only a year. Today, we learned that their highly anticipated and heavily publicized charts release has been delayed. This release is supposed to be a direct competitor to Billboard’s Nielsen Music charts.
Their PR firm Scoop Marketing made the news public. While anticipation is running high, they simply don’t feel prepared to unveil the final product. Part of the press e-mail addressed the timeline concerns and beta testing: “While we had initially targeted a public beta launch of May 13th, we are instead going to remain in private beta to optimize with our industry partners and fully ensure the smoothness of our presentation.”
Typically this wouldn’t be a huge concern, as this happens to companies all the time. However, amid the turmoil surrounding Budkofsky’s exit, speculations are now running rampant in a negative fashion. As little back as last week at the Music Biz conference in Nashville, they were singing praises of the chart launch.
Rolling Stone’s chart release is being spearheaded by ‘Alpha Data,’ formerly called BuzzAngle. They hope to compete directly with Billboard for chart supremacy, but their tenure is off to a rocky start. In yet another odd tidbit, Alpha/BuzzAngle founder Jim Lidestri told Digital Music News that he “wasn’t in the loop” on the Budkofsky situation.
The last official word is that they “will be announcing a new launch date shortly.” Time will tell, but it is indeed a curious turn of events for the music industry giant.