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YouTube viewership takes its place in Billboard charts

YouTube viewership now sits alongside digital downloads, physical sales, and streaming, among other metrics, to determine the top songs in the land.


Billboard's charts, the gold standard for assessing the most popular music, now have a new metric.

YouTube streaming data is now being incorporated into those charts, Billboard announced yesterday. YouTube viewership will now join digital and physical singles sales, terrestrial radio airplay, and streaming as the metrics that determine Billboard's chart order.

Since there are often thousands of clips of a single music video, Billboard's YouTube data is limited to "all official videos," Vevo clips, and user-generated videos that are using "authorized audio." In other words, only legitimately used songs can be included in its charts.

It only makes sense that Billboard is incorporating YouTube data in its results. The online video site has become well-established as a place where people listen to music, and to not include it would possibly leave an inaccurate picture of current tastes.

Already YouTuibe is having an effect on the Billboard charts. "Harlem Shake" by Baauer, which went viral on YouTube, is debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. YouTube also helped send Rihanna's "Stay" from 57th place last week to third place this time around.

The updated Billboard charts with YouTube included are now on Billboard's Web site.