America’s most influential chart, the Billboard 200, is finally including YouTube streams in their calculations towards chart positions.
Billboard announced on December 13th that as of January 3rd, 2020, they will be factoring music video plays from YouTube, Apple Music, TIDAL and VEVO into the calculations behind their Billboard 200 Album Chart. As the world’s most popular online streaming service, YouTube captures over 55% of the market, compared to a total of 37% for all free audio streaming services. This means that the figures from the service could have a colossal impact on who hits the top of the charts, and who doesn’t, with YouTube-friendly genres such as reggaeton and hip-hop continuing to dominate in 2020.
“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.”Deanna Brown, Billboard Media Group President
Last year, YouTube launched their own streaming service to rival platforms such as Apple Music and Spotify, but many users continue to use YouTube’s regular service to listen to music and watch music videos. While YouTube streams have been included into Billboard’s Hot 100 and other song-specific charts since 2013, this is the first time that they have been accounted for in the process of calculation for the album charts – perhaps America’s most important measurement of musical success.
“[This is a] very important moment in making the chart a more accurate representation of what people are listening to. Genres like Latin, hip-hop and electronic, which consistently dominate the YouTube charts, will now be properly recognized for their popularity. This is another great step in bringing YouTube and the industry together.”Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music at YouTube