According to reports, Billboard will start to count Youtube streams as part of album sales on their Top 200 chart.
According to various reports online, first broken by Hits Double Daily, Billboard is going to start taking into account YouTube streams as part of an album’s ranking on the Top 200 charts, which includes streams from user-generated content. This new change was reportedly done by Lyor Cohen, the head of global music at YouTube, hoping to evolve with the modern day styles of music consumption.
In a statement, RIAA Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman stood by the change, saying, “We know that music listening — for both for albums and songs — is skyrocketing, yet that trend has not been reflected in our album certifications. Modernizing our Album Award to include music streaming is the next logical step in the continued evolution of Gold and Platinum Awards, and doing so enables RIAA to fully reward the success of artists’ albums today.”
It’s unclear at the moment when this change will take effect, as Billboard has yet to make any official announcement, so we’ll just have to wait and see for now.
While this may make it easier for artists to make it onto the Top 200 if it holds true, that doesn’t mean everyone’s feeling these new streaming changes. Back in February of 2016, Top Dawg Entertainment CEO Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith bashed the new Recording Industry Association of America’s shifting policy on streaming. “We don’t stand behind this @RIAA bs,” he wrote. “ole skool rules apply, 1 million albums sold is platinum.until we reach that #, save all the congrats.”
In addition to Top Dawg, even JAY-Z voiced his concerns over how Billboard charts are being calculated. “We don’t know how people are consuming things today. It’s all over the place,” he told the Rap Radar podcast last month. “I’m an artist and it’s my music so I can do what I want with it. That’s the one thing I get. I get to present it to the world the way I like. Whether [Billboard] counts it or not is insignificant to me. It still happened. People still have the album. I still made the transaction with whomever I made the transaction with so the money came in, the album went out, it touched peoples’ hands. Whether you count it or not, it’s insignificant. It still happened.”