Becoming a viral sensation is even more essential than before for a new artist. Under Billboard’s new rules for their all-important Hot 100 chart, YouTube streams are now included in the calculation. Previously, only radio airplay, sales, and various forms of streaming through services like Spotify and Rhapsody were used to tabulate what the biggest song was. Had this new formula been around when PSY’s “Gangnam Style” was at its peak, it certainly would’ve hit pole position instead of stalling at No. 2 for weeks.
Taking advantage of the new rules is Baauer. Even though “Harlem Shake” is receiving minimal radio airplay, the single skyrocketed to No. 1 thanks to all those viral videos dominating YouTube and an impressive 262,000 downloads. The meme-of-the-moment knocks off Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” which has occupied the top spot the past five weeks.
New artists aren’t the only ones benefiting from Billboard’s new rules, established acts are as well. Drake’s “Started From the Bottom,” jumps from 63 to the Top 10 thanks to a newly-released music video. The rapper’s “Take Care” duet partner, Rihanna, also saw her latest track take a leap due to a highly-viewed clip. “Stay” jumped all the way to No. 3 from No. 57.
Personally, I think these new rules are awesome. It puts the power in people’s hands and really gives a more accurate picture on what the country is listening to currently. Artists will no longer have to suck up to radio stations to have their music played. With this new criteria, record labels and artists will now have to time download releases to music video premieres to fully take advantage. Lyric videos which have become popular lately, will have even more importance now. Expect to be inundated with more unique and visually appealing lyric clips in the future.
What do you think of the new rules? Do you listen to radio anymore? Are you a fan of “Harlem Fever“? Sound off below.