The charts published by Billboard each week have traditionally been meant to measure albums’ and singles’ success in terms of sales and airplay. But what about newer artists who are building careers in other ways? Billboard‘s new Uncharted chart, introduced for the first time this week, is designed to highlight those under-served up-and-comers.

According to Billboard, the Uncharted chart is based on “a formula of online exposure incorporating streamed plays, page views and fans according to MySpace Music as well as sources tracked by online aggregator Next Big Sound, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter,, ReverbNation, SoundCloud, iLike and Wikipedia among others.” The chart ranks artists, not their releases; anyone who has appeared on a major Billboard chart like the Hot 100 or Billboard 200 is disqualified.

So who are these Web-famous unknowns? This week’s first-ever No. 1 spot goes to Traphik, whom Billboard identifies as “a Long Beach, California-based Thai-American rapper known for his comedic YouTube videos and rhymes.” I had never heard of Traphik before this morning, but now I just might have to check him out. Other slightly better-known artists show up lower on the list. At No. 16, we find Pomplamoose (a.k.a. the couple from those Hyundai commercials) and Gossip Girl star Taylor Momsen’s band the Pretty Reckless.

What do you think of Billboard‘s new chart? Are you a fan of any of the artists who ranked high in the inaugural edition? Take a look at the Uncharted list and let us know.

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