US music charts to incorporate YouTube clicks for first time

22/02/2013

For the first time, clicks on YouTube videos will count towards US singles chart, as the music industry acknowledges the growing influence of online videos in clinching success- such as Gangnam Style and the Harlem Shake.

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The iconic US Billboard chart has said that the "major shake-up" means that data from the website is now one of the factors used to decide who makes it to number one in the Hot 100.

Billboard and Nielsen have updated their chart methodology to include music video views on the US version of the video streaming site as well as digital download track sales, physical singles sales, radio airplay, audio streaming and online radio streaming.

But the inclusion of clicks on YouTube means that a viral video can now hit the top spot, even if it is being outsold or outplayed on the radio. The new rule counts all official videos on YouTube, including Vevo.

It also, potentially, gives previously unknown musicians the chance to hit the big time.

Of the changes to the charts, Bill Werde - Billboard's editorial director – said: "The very definition of what it means to have a hit is ever-changing these days. The Billboard charts are the ultimate measure of success in music, and they constantly evolve to reflect these new music experiences."

He added: "When the charts launched over 70 years ago, a hit was defined as selling copies of a single or generating airplay. While those avenues are still viable, one needn't look any further than CeeLo, Gotye, Psy or now Baauer to know that a song can be a massive hit on YouTube alone."

YouTube data will also be used in Billboard's new Streaming Songs chart, which puts stats from all of the online streaming sites into one chart.

The move has already seen Baauer's Harlem Shake track - a hit on YouTube with thousands of copycat videos - has rank at number one.

Baauer's track rocketed to the top of this week's chart thanks to the weight of 103 million weekly streams.

The revised formula also sees the likes of Rihanna benefiting from YouTube clicks - as well as her recent Grammys performance - with Stay climbing from 57 to number three.

The UK top 40 is based only on sales, most of them now paid-for digital downloads.
However, in a possible sign of things to come, the Official Charts Company last

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