As of this week, Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart, which has been around for 55 years, will now incorporate YouTube views into its formula. And Baauer's viral sensation "Harlem Shake," which clocks in at No. 1 this week, is the first song to directly benefit from the new formula.

A week ago, "Harlem Shake" failed to even make the Hot 100, but due to it's enormous popularity on YouTube this week, with over 4,000 videos each day being published using the song, and over 203 million total YouTube views in the United States, it beat out Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop," the previous No. 1 song and most downloaded track of the week.

Billboard's editorial director Bill Werde explains, “The notion that a song has to sell in order to be a hit feels a little two or three years ago to me. The music business today — much to its credit — has started to learn that there are lots of different ways a song can be a hit, and lots of different ways that the business can benefit from it being a hit.” 

David Bakula, a senior analyst at Nielsen Soundscan, the company that collects data for which the Billboard charts are based on, adds, “We want to measure how much consumption is going on, in whatever form a consumer chooses to consume something.”

So yes, sales and Spotify streams and radio plays will all still be taken into account, but YouTube views will now also play a factor in what songs charts on the Billboard Hot 100. And rightfully so.

[via NY Times]

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