Billboard's music chart, a list of the most popular songs in the American music industry, is taking another step into the digital age.
Billboard, along with ratings firm Neilson, announced this week that it will now be including U.S. YouTube data in ranking the top singles in its Hot 100 chart as well as its other genre-specific lists.
The new metrics will asses all official videos on YouTube, including partner music video website Vevo, and user-generated clips that use authorized audio. Neilson is responsible for tracking the streaming data.
Billboard Hot 100
- Harlem Shake - Baauer
- Thrift Shop - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz
- Stay - Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko
- Scream & Shout - will.i.am featuring Britney Spears
- I Knew You Were Trouble - Taylor Swift
- Ho Hey - The Lumineers
- Locked Out of Heaven - Bruno Mars
- When I Was Your Man - Bruno Mars
- Suit & Tie - Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z
- Started From the Bottom - Drake
Other factors that determine rankings include radio airplay, physical single sales, digital download sales, on-demand audio steaming and online radio streaming.
"The very definition of what it means to have a hit is ever-changing these days," said Bill Werde, Billboard's editorial director, in a release. "The Billboard charts are the ultimate measure of success in music, and they constantly evolve to reflect these new music experiences."
Harlem Shake debuts at No. 1
The changes went into effect this week, putting viral video hit Harlem Shake at No. 1 in its first week on the chart. The song, produced by American DJ Baauer and released in May 2012, garnered little attention until a user-generated Youtube video set to its music became an internet sensation this month.
The official music video for Harlem Shake now has over 4.5 YouTube million views.
Other songs that benefitted from the change include Rihanna's Stay, which jumped from 57 to 3, and Drake's Started From the Bottom, which lept from 63 to 10.
Psy's Gangnam Style, which last year become the first online video to surpass one billion views, rebounded from 48 to claim the 26th spot on this week's chart.
While Billboard executives say that the inclusion of YouTube data will assure a more accurate gauge of song popularity, the new formula may raise ire among some music fans, says CBC Arts reporter Deana Sumanac.
"I think we're going to be hearing a lot about this because is it right for something that some would say is a novelty factor — somebody like Psy, who probably is not what we would call a career artist — to be considered on this Hot 100 chart alongside singer-songwriters who dedicated their lives to their career?"