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Billboard and Nielsen announced this week the addition of U.S. YouTube video streaming data to its platforms, which includes an update to the methodology for the Billboard Hot 100, the preeminent singles chart. The YouTube streaming data is now factored into the chart’s ranking, enhancing a formula that includes Nielsen’s digital download track sales and physical singles sales; as well as terrestrial radio airplay, on-demand audio streaming, and online radio streaming, also tracked by Nielsen.

Billboard is now incorporating all official videos on YouTube captured by Nielsen’s streaming measurement, including Vevo on YouTube, and user-generated clips that utilize authorized audio into the Hot 100 and the Hot 100 formula-based genre charts — Hot Country Songs, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, R&B Songs, Rap Songs, Hot Latin Songs, Hot Rock Songs and Dance/Electronic Songs — to further reflect the divergent platforms for music consumption in today’s world.

“The very definition of what it means to have a hit is ever-changing these days,” says Bill Werde, Billboard’s editorial director. “The Billboard charts are the ultimate measure of success in music, and they constantly evolve to reflect these new music experiences. When the charts launched over 70 years ago, a hit was defined as selling copies of a single or generating airplay. While those avenues are still viable, one needn’t look any further than Cee Lo, Gotye, PSY or now Baauer to know that a song can be a massive hit on YouTube alone.” Read more

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