Chart fans revel in relaunch

Interactivity, Lala linkup among new features

As part of a site launch that went live Wednesday, Billboard is opening its entire chart history to the global audience and giving music fans the tools to participate in the past, present and future of music.

Users of the new will be able to personalize the way they approach music discovery while interacting with friends, fellow fans and even the musicians themselves.

One feature, called Soundtrack of My Life, allows users to create a string of songs tied to key moments in their lives.

Billboard, like The Hollywood Reporter, is owned by the Nielsen Co.

One of the big distinguishers Billboard expects to have in the crowded music space is its ability to offer decades of chart data to a consumer audience. For the first time, the entire Hot 100 singles chart will be available for free.

"We've been on a path to make this Billboard brand as relevant as we can to as wide an audience as we can," Billboard publisher Howard Appelbaum said.

Through music provider Lala, site visitors will be able to buy music directly from the charts from a database of 6 million Web songs.

Downloads will sell for 89 cents-$1.10. Another new feature lets visitors vote on their favorite songs. The results will be the basis of new, user-generated charts slated to launch this year.

The relaunched site is the latest step in Billboard's diversification beyond its business-to-business roots.