UPDATE: Billboard May Add YouTube Plays To Chart Calculations


Youtube_logoUPDATE: YouTube plays may be added to the calculations that determine the Billboard charts, according to a new report. The move comes at a time when the music industry is already battling YouTube over the size of payments. 

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Billboard chart

YouTube plays are being added to the spins + plays calculation that determines the Billboard charts, according to a new report. Even user-generated clips containing the music will be included in the new calculations.The change is sure to be controversial and comes at a very difficult time in YouTube music industry relations.

UPDATE: Talks between the labels and Billboard over what data should be included in future charts are ongoing, a source tells Hypebot, and no decision about the inclusion of data from YouTube has been made. 

YouTube has been the music industry’s whipping post, of late, over too-low payments to labels, artists and other rights holders.  By comparison, Spotify pays out approximately 75% more for its ad supported tier and 515% more for paid streaming than Google owned YouTube, according to a new study (pdf download).

Delivering the win for YouTube with Billboard Editor John Amato is the video site’s controversial Global Head of Music Lyor Cohen.  “Amato watchers have long predicted that Lyr would close him – the bible prez is notorious as a backstage wannabe who’ll attend the opening of an envelope,” snarked Hits Daily Double, who broke the story.

Labels May Want To Fight back, But Can They?

While some YouTube-centric artists will welcome the change, the record labels may rebel. Spin data is seen by some as theirs to withhold; and they could use that power to push for charts calculated more to their liking. 

But YouTube and Google are notoriously open with data. Sign in and type any artist’s name in the search engine at the top of this page on Spotify For Artists, and you can find a treasure trove of spin and fan data that is kept private on other streamers,

It’s not hard to imagine a standoff between control oriented labels and open data loving Google.