Billboard Adds Digital Video To Chart Weighting
On August 1, 1984, MTV signed on the air with the prophetic “Video Killed The Radio Star” by the Buggles, a one-hit wonder Brit band. For the next two decades MTV broke hits and made artists’ careers in a way a thousand different radio stations could never do. However, through that era the actual formula for deciding which songs made it on (and up) the Billboard charts was always based on a combination of over-the-air Radio spins and physical music sales. Finally that’s changing.
Yesterday Billboard announced it will update its charts to reflect the growing importance of streamed video in the music world. Beginning January 3rd the company will include video play data from YouTube on its Billboard 200 and genre-specific album charts. Officially licensed video streams from Apple, Spotify, Tidal and Vevo will also be incorporated into the charts. You may remember last year Billboard added streamed audio plays to its Hot 100 and Billboard 200 charts, so including streamed video is just an extension of their strategy to get a more holistic view of the new music ecosystem.
Overall this is the right move for Billboard. It reflects the fact that Broadcast Radio is no longer the sole hit maker for the music industry, since listeners are discovering music across all sorts of new digital distribution platforms. So maybe the Buggles were right about video after all?!?