Viral YouTube videos might make chart hits on Billboard soon

Can you imagine Gangnam Style being number one in the official charts? Billboard and YouTube might be teaming up to count video plays in chart data.

According to a new report YouTube plays are to be integrated into Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, representing the biggest music over all genres. This could have a massive impact on the charts, especially with hits that go viral on YouTube without reaching the same success outside of YouTube.

Last year Billboard added streaming data from services like Spotify and Tidal to their charts to more accurately represent the music people are listening to. Then at the start of 2017 Billboard integrated streaming into all of their music charts. Now YouTube are the next big step in corroborating music performance across every platform to depict what’s hot in the world of music.

Interestingly, a move that could truly change the dynamics of the Billboard Hot 100, the move wouldn’t just include official music videos. User-made videos that feature music will also be included in the data so that unofficial uploads of music will count towards chart performance. This is a questionable move but assuming the user’s videos are legally monetised to distribute revenue to artists it could be great for artists.

Assuming the reports are accurate this would be great news for independent artists as well. Streaming sites and YouTube have become brilliant portals for artists without access to major distribution to get a name out there. Now with a viral video or a well shared track we could be seeing much more diversity within the charts.

Whilst it isn’t currently much more than a rumour, music industry rumours have a good track record of becoming true. A source told Hypebot that talks are ongoing between Billboard and the labels about what data can be used and they are yet to make a decision about the inclusion of YouTube.

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