For years Billboard charts were based upon the purchase of physical album copies in form of CD’s, Vinyls or Tapes. With the turn of a new age in technology, Billboard has had to pay very close attention to exactly how to tally album sales. With the recent announcement that the age-old “album bundle” technique would undergo significant change, many artist and fans alike felt Billboard was finally taking a turn for the better. Their announcement today however to include YouTube streams in the tallying or album sales may be just what the game has been missing. YouTube, which dominates music consumption online but has frequently been vilified by record companies — and even many of the artists who post videos there — for low royalty payments. The New York Times reported today,
Starting Jan. 3, Billboard will count the popularity of official music videos on YouTube, as well as those on Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal and Vevo, in the magazine’s flagship album chart, the Billboard 200.
According to Midia Research, 55% of people who stream music use YouTube beating out competitors such as Spotify and Pandora whom also offer free streaming service. Although YouTube has been taken as somewhat of a joke to the mainstream music industry over the years due to its low artist payout and its fair share over cover videos, meme videos and low budget videos, the platform has also served as a legit launching pad for many artist with official music videos. An artist that has taken full advantage of the YouTube viewership as of recent is NBA Youngboy (Youngboy Never Broke Again) whom at one point was amongst the most viewed artist list for 101 weeks consecutively leading up to charting a number 1 album. We are anxious to see how this new rule changes the trajectory of the album charts.