Billboard announced Friday that official video plays will be factored into their weekly album chart, the Billboard 200.
The signature chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on several factors: traditional album sales, track sales equivalent albums, and streaming equivalent albums. Now, Billboard is expanding its streaming component to include video and audio data from YouTube. This will go in effect starting January 3.
This is significant because YouTube streams have been a part of Billboard song charts since 2013, but they've never been factored into the album charts before. "YouTube's inclusion in the Billboard 200 is a very important moment in making the chart a more accurate representation of what people are listening to,” Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music at YouTube, said in a statement.
“Genres like Latin, hip hop and electronic, which consistently dominate the YouTube charts, will now be properly recognized for their popularity," he continued. "This is another great step in bringing YouTube and the industry together and we're so grateful to Billboard and the music business at large for making this addition.”
It's not just YouTube — licensed video content plays from Apple, Spotify, Tidal and Vevo will also be included in Billboard's calculations.
"As the steward of the definitive charts that uphold the industry's measurement of music consumption, our goal is to continually respond and accurately reflect the changing landscape of the music," Billboard-The Hollywood Reporter Media Group president Deanna Brown said in a statement. "Our decision to add YouTube and other video streaming data to our album charts reflects the continuing evolution of the music consumption market and the ways in which consumers connect to album-related content."