The Billboard Hot 100 chart, a longstanding signifier of what’s popular in pop music, has received a retooling for the modern age.
Starting now, YouTube views are now an official metric in determining what songs hit the Hot 100 chart.
“Billboard is now incorporating all official videos on YouTube captured by Nielsen’s streaming measurement, including Vevo on YouTube, and user-generated clips that utilize authorized audio into the Hot 100 and the Hot 100 formula-based genre charts – Hot Country Songs, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, R&B Songs, Rap Songs, Hot Latin Songs, Hot Rock Songs and Dance/Electronic Songs – to further reflect the divergent platforms for music consumption in today’s world,” says Billboard.
That means that what you’re seeing on the Hot 100 chart is now based on digital sales, physical sales, radio play, internet streaming, and now YouTube views.
The consequences of this decision are immediately apparent, as the Billboard Hot 100 chart’s number one song is now Baauer’s “Harlem Shake.” The new trove of YouTube streaming data drove “Harlem Shake” to the #1 spot on the list in its debut week.
Billboard notes that the new YouTube data had an impact on other songs like “Gangnam Style” jumping from # 48 to #26 and Rihanna’s “Stay” making the leap from #57 to #3.
“This announcement marks a big step in accurately reflecting how music lovers are finding their new favorite songs. we hope this news will excite our users, who have helped us discover some of the biggest stars and songs of the past seven years,” says YouTube.