Now that online video views are factored into the Hot 100 formula, viral hits like “Harlem Shake” can dominate the charts. That’s good. And bad.
Billboard and Nielsen announced this week that YouTube views will now be factored into their formula determining the ranking of the Hot 100 singles chart. The impact on the chart was immediate, with Baauer’s song “Harlem Shake” debuting on the chart at No. 1 after appearing in thousands of viral videos. This change is both radical and sensible, given that YouTube has become by far the dominant mode of music consumption in recent years, with views far surpassing sales, and in most cases, radio airplay. But it’s going to change the Hot 100 significantly, in ways that are both awesome and potentially awful.