It's hard to dispute the effect that YouTube has had upon our listening habits over the past decade. Nine times out ten, most of us tend to check out a new artist or song on YouTube to test the waters before diving into their back catalogue on streaming services. For some younger listeners, it's their sole listening platform - and now, those views are going to contribute towards the Billboard Album Charts in the US.
As reported by Billboard, data from video and audio streams on YouTube, as well as visual plays from other music streaming services such as Apple, Tidal, Vevo and Spotify, will soon be accounted for on the Billboard 200 from January 3, 2020. Although YouTube streams have been factored into Billboard's Hot 100 singles charts and other song-specific lists since 2013, this marks the first time they'll contribute towards the count for albums.
However, unlike Billboard's song charts, which can be skewed by user-generated videos, entries into the Billboard Hot 200 Albums Chart can only come from official licenced content uploaded on behalf of the rights holders. Music industry mogul Lyor Cohen, who now operates as global head of music at YouTube, celebrated the changes as a "very important moment in making the chart a more accurate representation of what people are listening to."
"Genres like Latin, hip-hop and electronic, which consistently dominate the YouTube charts, will now be properly recognized for their popularity. 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."
Read more via Billboard's website.