- The Washington Times - Friday, December 13, 2019

Billboard said Friday that it will soon consider videos played on YouTube and other streaming services when calculating the music industry publication’s album chart listings.

Officially licensed video content uploaded to YouTube, Apple Music, Tidal and VEVO will be factored into Billboard’s weekly album charts starting January 3, 2020, the company said.

Videos played on those services will then be considered along with physical and digital sales and on-demand audio streams when Billboard calculates its rankings of the top albums.

“As the steward of the definitive charts that uphold the industry’s measurement of music consumption, our goal is to continually respond and accurately reflect the changing landscape of the music,” said Deanna Brown, the president of Billboard-The Hollywood Reporter Media Group.

“Our decision to add YouTube and other video streaming data to our album charts reflects the continuing evolution of the music consumption market and the ways in which consumers connect to album-related content,” said Ms. Brown, Billboard reported.

The change will impact the long-running Billboard 200 albums chart in addition to the publication’s genre-specific album consumption charts, that report said.

“Genres like Latin, hip-hop and electronic, which consistently dominate the YouTube charts, will now be properly recognized for their popularity,” said Lyor Cohen, global head of music at YouTube. “This is another great step in bringing YouTube and the industry together and we’re so grateful to Billboard and the music business at large for making this addition.”

Billboard has for decades ranked the nation’s most popular album by analyzing statistics for physical sales, and five years ago it started also factoring in on-demand streaming and digital sales as measured by Nielsen SoundScan.

The Hot 100, Billboard’s weekly listing of the nation’s top singles, has factored in YouTube streams since early 2013, including user-generated content. Only official videos uploaded on behalf of the copyright holder will be considered in calculating the album charts, however.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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