Friday 22 February 2013

[Discussion] Billboard To Include YouTube Views When Calculating Chart Positions: Good Or Bad Move?

I like it when a company isn't afraid to move with the times, but American Chart compilers Billboard might be going too far to quickly with changes announced to the way they put together their weekly run down of top selling singles.

To reflect the importance of the internet, the company have now included YouTube video streams in their formula for calculating a song's chart position (in addition to its physical/digital sales, radio play and audio streams via certain sites). It's a change that goes somewhat to explaining why the video giant shaved millions of views off of videos last year, as it cleaned up its books in preparation for this new responsibility [read here].

So what's the problem?
The problem most have with this change, is that they want the chart positions to be a reflection of people's willingness to trade currency for product- like in the good ol' days. But in this new century the way music is consumed has changed radically, and to reflect this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Surely it will actually provide a more accurate picture of how well a song is doing, at any given time, than just sales alone would. Besides, money is still being generated from these videos, but instead of it coming from the viewer directly, it's generated from the advertisements that play before a video starts. So there is still some form of currency for product going on.

However, the huge numbers that some artists generate from views alone- See Gaga and Rihanna- leaves me a little cautious about how these changes will play out in reality, and how fair they'll be. A worry that is somewhat tapered by the first artist to benefit from this change being the relatively unknown- in mainstream conciousness, anyway- Harlem Shake, which hit the top spot straight off the bat when the new rules came into effect, this week.

No doubt records set by stars like Mariah Carey, Madonna, and Michael Jackson will now be broken quicker as a result of this change; but considering how the industry has morphed over the years, perhaps it's unfair to expect them to be bested in the same way, today, as they were achieved, yesterday. Just don't expect these accomplishments to hold as much weight when they do eventually pass on, as they did before, because they won't.

I'm going to reserve overall judgement on Billboard's decision until I've had a chance to see what, if any, long-term effects this has on the chart. Whatever the case, I have a feeling it won't be too long before others start to incorporate YouTube views into their own method for putting together their chart figures.

Thoughts, Devotees?

Source: Billboard

[Abridged version for those having a "tl;dr" moment: Billboard is allowing YouTube video views to count towards chart positions. Do you think that's a good thing or not?]


  1. I think this new variable will more accurately measure which songs are popular. More people watch videos on youtube than buy singles on Itunes. I just think it's a hassle, I mean, are they only going to count Vevo?Are they going to count lyric videos and fan videos?
    I would have kept it the way it was though.

  2. I think they should also make a system to avoid what many users do, which is to play a video over and over, even automatically in some cases. Billboard and Youtube should create an IP dependent video count, so each IP would count as ONE viewer no matter how many times they play the video. Get it? I think it would be fair for some artists that don't have an army of teenagers with a lot of free time to waste in such things.

  3. I think society i.e. the generation buying singles and still giving any credibility to charts, is sufficiently prepared to now accept any and all lies as having credibility. My prediction...this will have no effect whatsoever on present chartcredibility.
    It will mean yet more stan imaginings to be shown up for the utter bs it usually is.;-D

    I also think this proves that people out of touch with modern tech remain....out of touch. How bright of them to come with this plan mere weeks after it has become clear how much and how easily those view and like counts can be messed with.

  4. They're gonna count videos that have audio from the original songs. I'm not sure about parodies though.

  5. That's extremely inefficient, there are way too many videos to keep track of -.-

  6. It's one thing to like a video or song on youtube- and another to merely view it. Things today explode rapidly for little to no reason other than the speed of social media. I mean I remember the video of the girl eating her own tampon exploding like crazy- and Im pretty sure that most of the viewers would not want to pay 99 cents to a whole dollar to watch it as often as they want. Most Harlem shake videos have thousands of views. Does that mean every person whos seen the Harlem shake appreciate it enough to fork over money and support it? Not likely. I think we're getting to the point where a line needs to be drawn between popular and successful. Im most positive that not all of the 40 something millions of people who watch a Lady Gaga video- likes her music enough to support her- less we'd be seeing the money come in. I'm clearly against this there are several issues with Youtubes view counting system in itself.

  7. A music video is there merely for advertising whilst giving an artistic interpretation of the song to make people buy the music. YouTube and VEVO are just marketing tools for artists and in all honestly they have to sit down because "AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT"!!!! Stay in your place people!!! POPULARITY AND SOCIAL MEDIA ARE OVERRATED!!

  8. This is a bad move, it will give music videos too much importance in how popular a song is. It will encourage pop stars to make their videos more watchable (probably using shock value and female flesh) and they'll start to pay more attention to the video than the music. The songs will just become muzak playing in the background to the video.

  9. Prepare for 'Gangnam Style' and 'Friday' to both break 'One Sweet Day's records with one hundred and ninety five weeks respectively.

  10. *Cough* Beyonce will now be buying number ones when she buys her youtube views.

  11. Her prime was before Youtube, seems like you're trying to invalidate her succes.

  12. Okay, whatever this The Harlem Shake thing is it needs to go.. Why is the current number one song out there on the billboard hot 100 charts an anthem for people who are honestly this stupid to think this is good music or a good meme or whatever this fucking thing is, because honestly it's not even funny we are watching this generation of music fly down the shitter faster than ever as of now! When did it become okay for a beat and word spoken over and over again on repeat to become actual real music! If you think this is real music please come to me I'll direct you to some country, metal, pop, rock, jazz or just anything and everything that requires more talent and heart to create! The billboard charts were a good chart for charting sales and that's it now adding these youtube views is not only promoting crap such as The Harlem Shake but future crap to come and loss of the whole basic idea of the chart! A video can still get tons of youtube views and still not be a well liked song with tons dislikes.. hmm aka Justin Biebers Baby video has millions of views and a lot of dislikes.. (No offense to Justin just facts ((Still better than The Harlem Shake))) but the huge shocker is people are actually buying this crap and liking it.. there is no art in this, no creative ideas.. just a man and a label making big money for something even Dr. Luke could do in 10 seconds! Anyways, I'll stick with my good music come join and listen to me if you agree.. PS: You should agree!

  13. She's referring to youtube recently removing tens of millions of ''views'' from Beyonce videos because they were fake, bought views.

  14. Well my curiosity is aroused. :-)
    But were is it that we should come and join you?

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  17. Yes, no. Youtube didn't remove the 'fake views', they've replaced their view policy. A simple click on the video's page used to be a 'view'. Now they've replaced that with someone actually watching the video for a certain amount of time (depends on how long the video is).

  18. Nobody really thinks its a good song. Its just a stupid dance craze like the chacha slide or the macarana or however you spell it.

  19. Didnt beyonce say one time that every time she or kelly comes out with an album they would both buy like at least 20 of their own albums? I remember Beyonce saying that but I could be mistaken.

  20. Yes they did dude. Articles were all over the net.

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  22. Yep, she did say that, I think.

    Lovely photos from ATRL.

  23. I know what articles you're talking about. The thing is that that wasn't the main thing Google was doing, they've turned a view into an actual view.. not a click. Yes, supposedly fake views got removed by their new policy, but that wasn't the main intention. They take a certain consequence that might perhaps occur and exploit it to have interesting news. I know I'd rather click on "Youtube deletes Rihanna's FAKE VIEWS!" instead of "Youtube adjusted their view policy"

  24. I think thats so funny. I mean not in a negative way- because I would so totally do the same thing- but still...I still frown on false youtube views- but then again it may just be her management idk the whole story.

  25. You can click on whatever interests you more. :-) It is of no consequence to the matter.
    Fact remains many artists ( or rather their managments) buy millions of fake views. Fact reemains Beyonce was amongst those. Fact remains youtube attempted to remove those fake views.
    And most of all...Fact remains THAT is what Reiko's joke referred to.

  26. I must say I can't argue with you, the arguments you've delivered are absolutely right. I do hope the music industry's "business" department gets crippled to a certain situation where actual musicians can make a chance. Also, my "seems like you're trying to invalidate her succes." remark wasn't based of off her comment here, but her multiple comments everywhere on divadevotee trying to bring Beyoncé down. Which is sad because Beyoncé is an excellent singer.

  27. Okay. Since I haven't seen you respond in those other treads, I did not realize you had those in mind.
    I don't recall Reiko ever saying Beyonce is not an excellent singer but maybe I simple didn't notice it if she did.
    However...I think you can relax. I highly doubt Reiko is attempting to ''bring Beyonce down''. I'm sure she's smart enough to realize if that was her goal, voicing her opinion on other issues regarding Beyonce than her vocal abilities on a smalltime ( no offence DD :-D ) blog, would hardly be the most efficient way to go about it. ;-)

  28. I think it's fair IF they count one view per IP address per so many days or weeks, that way one person watching a video 12 times in one day will not count towards the chart. Otherwise, Gaga, Rihanna, Katy, Bieber, and One Direction will remain on top at all times.

  29. Technically? I will concede that Beyonce is a brilliant singer. Always have. But for me, there is more than just technique to singing. In my opinion, Beyonce is slightly lacking in the other categories.

    And to suggest that I'm attempting to 'bring Beyonce down' is patently ridiculous. I wish her all the best in her endeavors, however morally dubious they may be.

  30. The previous comments seemed pretty hateful, but if she says she isn't trying to bring Beyoncé down I'll believe her. Yes I'm Dutch.

  31. Being negative is expressing an opinion. Bringing down is an action with an intent to ruin someone. Those are two different things motivated by different intents. Was my point. :-)

    So am I. Just curious...why then the Arabic?

  32. Yeah I understand. I'm Arabic and living in Holland. My name is Dutch, but there's an Arabic version of it as well so I like to use both.

  33. Thanks for that explanation. :-)


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  41. OK, DD, Let's send our congratulations to Rihanna for breaking Mariah Carey's record (18 #1 singles) most probably by next year. #AnnoyedBotheredandPressed