Billboard will begin factoring video and audio data from YouTube to its Billboard 200 albums chart starting January 18, 2020, along with officially licensed video plays from Apple, Spotify, TIDAL and Vevo.
This move by the music industry giant shifts the Billboard 200 chart’s measure from pure sales to a consumption model. However, only official licensed videos uploaded by or on behalf of the rights holders will be included in the calculations for the Billboard 200 and other genre album consumption charts.
Official YouTube streams were already included in the calculations of the Billboard Hot 100 and several other song-specific charts since February 2013, but this marks the first for album charts. It’s worth noting that YouTube streams on the Billboard Hot 100 can also include user-generated videos on top of officially licensed ones.
“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, president of Billboard-The Hollywood Reporter Media Group, 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.”
YouTube’s Global Head of Music Lyor Cohen called the changes a “very important moment in making the chart a more accurate representation of what people are listening to,” adding, ”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.”
Senior VP of Charts and Data Development at Billboard explained, “With video representing an increasingly large proportion of music consumption on some of the world’s largest platforms, the inclusion of YouTube and video overall to the Billboard 200 as well as other genre rankings is the next natural advancement for our album charts.
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