As of Jan. 3, video and audio data from YouTube and official video plays from Apple, Spotify, Tidal, and Vevo will be included in Billboard 200 album chart calculations.
Five years ago, Billboard added audio streams to its calculation of the Billboard 200 albums charts, marking a “shift from a measure of pure sales to a consumption model.” Now, the company has also added video plays to the mix.
As of last week, video and audio data from YouTube, and officially licensed video plays from Apple, Spotify, Tidal, and Vevo will impact the Billboard 200 and all “genre-specific album consumption charts,” including genres like Country, R&B/Hip-Hop, Latin and others.
Since February 2013, YouTube streams have factored into the Billboard Hot 100 and other song-specific charts, but this move is a first for the album charts. User-generated videos can affect song charts, but it’s only officially licensed video content that has been uploaded by or on behalf of its rights holders that will affect the Billboard 200 and the other albums charts.
“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,” explains Billboard-The Hollywood Reporter Media Group president Deanna Brown. “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.”
The move is an important one, as the chart will now more accurately represent what people are actually listening to. The changes will appear in the Jan. 18, 2020 charts, which will include sales and streams between Jan. 3 and 9, 2020.
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