Breaking a policy that has been in effect since 2017, Billboard will now incorporate audio and video data coming from YouTube in its computation of the Billboard 200 albums chart.
While Billboard has not included YouTube data in its albums chart, it has included YouTube in its song charts, such as the Billboard Hot 100, since February of 2013. Interestingly, when compiling data for these latter charts, the company includes user-generated content, but they will only use officially licensed content when compiling the Billboard 200 chart.
Previously, while the company did not include YouTube data in their albums chart, they used the following other streaming platforms:
- Apple Music
The company will also use YouTube data when compiling genre-specific charts, such as:
The changes to the album charts will take effect on January 18, 2020, which will include streams and sales from the period beginning January 3 and ending January 9.
Deanna Brown, who is the president of the Billboard-The Hollywood Reporter Media Group, says of the change: “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. 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.”
YouTube also commented about the company’s change. Lyor Cohen, who is the global head of music at the company, called the change a “very important moment in making the chart a more accurate representation of what people are listening to.”
Previously, Cohen was rumored to be agitated by the exclusion, while YouTube bosses grew frustrated that a legendary label insider couldn’t move the needle at Billboard.
Cohen went on to say, “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.”