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Billboard to count YouTube plays towards album chart numbers

The announcement was made on Friday (Dec. 13).


Artists’ YouTube plays will now go towards their album charting numbers. According to Hollywood Unlocked, Billboard made the announcement on Friday (Dec. 13) that they will start to consider YouTube plays and officially licensed video content plays from Apple, Spotify, Tidal and Vevo as factors when calculating the numbers for the Billboard 200 album charts. Video and audio data from YouTube will be factored in as well.

Stipulations have been put in place to determine what kind of video streams will be counted. Additionally, only officially licensed video content that is uploaded by the rights holder will be eligible to be counted. “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,” said Billboard-The Hollywood Reporter Media Group president Deanna Brown. “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.”

YouTube has also weighed in on the new change. Lyor Cohen, global head of music at YouTube, said that the change 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 and we’re so grateful to Billboard and the music business at large for making this addition.”

Billboard also reports that “YouTube streams have factored into the Billboard Hot 100 and other song-specific charts since February 2013.”

Audio streams became a factor in charting numbers five years ago, which created a shift from pure sales to a consumption model.

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