Billboard has teamed with consumer information company Nielsen and will now factor YouTube video plays when ranking songs on the "Hot 100" singles chart. Baauer's smash hit, “Harlem Shake,” has already benefited, landing at No. 1 on the aforementioned chart.
A new venture was announced yesterday, revolutionizing how Billboard tracks the rise of hit songs in a variety of genres. Before the deal, Nielsen tracked digital sales, physical copies, radio airplay and other traditional means of media delivery. Now, Billboard will collect streaming data on all of YouTube's official music videos using Nielsen's information measurements. Essentially, a streaming video click on YouTube will be counted as a radio spin Additionally, user-generated videos that have official use of original music will also have their streams counted and factored into the “Hot 100” data dump.
Currently contending with an online feud with Azealia Banks, Baauer benefited greatly from this latest innovation. The Brooklyn producer is just the 21st artist in the “Hot 100” chart's 55-year history to debut at the top spot with “Harlem Shake.” The feat is especially unique in Baauer's case, considering the rising star was a relative unknown before his breakout track. The song was released last June but thanks to a growing number of video memes using “Harlem Shake” as the backdrop, it has become an unavoidable juggernaut of sorts.
Baauer's chart-topping debut knocked off another recent social media darling in Seattle duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' catchy “Thrift Shop” which also benefited from high YouTube streams.