With YouTube now being a major force within the music industry here and elsewhere, it would make sense that the big dogs are starting to notice. Billboard and its coveted charts have been a staple of the music industry for over a hundred years, and they are about to welcome a major change as YouTube streams will now be incorporated into its artist rating calculations, according to Pitchfork. The announcement is quaking the music industry as it is both a show of force by YouTube as well as an embrace of modernism for Billboard.
The calculations will consider official track streams as well as music videos presented via VEVO, TIDAL and Apple Music, excluding “user-generated content” or cover videos. While the move is seen as a step toward the future, many are not welcoming the news with open arms. Artists like Nine Inch Nails lead singer Trent Reznor are cautious of major corporations, such as YouTube’s owner Google, having a say in what is both available for people to listen to and now also how it will rank.
Reznor’s concerns are not invalid as the Billboard 200 charts have often been seen as the guide to today’s top music, and those artists lucky enough to reach the top, find many financial and personal rewards once they get there. Pitchfork says, “According to the research, 55 percent of online music streamers use YouTube, while the rest of the platforms have 37 percent of the market.” Stunning statistics like that one show how far YouTube has come and what type of influence it now exerts over what people listen to.
Similarly, Spotify has constantly been criticized for its strong grip on the music industry, but YouTube surely surpasses it. The implementation is scheduled for January 3rd of 2020 and will surely change the way artists approach marketing; the move is a milestone of the modern age indeed.