On Wednesday (Feb. 20), Billboard announced that its charts would now include U.S. YouTube video streaming data, and Baauer, whose "Harlem Shake" song had been out since last May, but only just invaded the 'net, became its first meme-related chart topper.
While "Harlem Shake" would have placed in the top 15 based on digital sales alone, Billboard's new metric, which both validates YouTube as a music streaming site, and also imbues the 19th century-founded music industry trade publication with an air of meme-friendly bloom, clearly benefits Baauer most directly.
In an incredible convergence of timing and luck, the 23-year-old Brooklyn producer racked up an estimated 103 million "Harlem Shake"-related YouTube views this month, correlating to viral video-influenced sales of 262,000 downloads, making him the poster boy for Billboard's new viral-friendly charts.
The new calculation also aids stars who aren't on their first meme-fueled tour, like Rihanna, whose "Stay" jumped from 57 to 3, and Drake, whose "Started from the Bottom" rose from 63 to 10, yet it is certain that incorporating YouTube streams into the equation will lead to many more Psy-style chart toppers.
Cue industry memorandums urging marketing professionals to create the next "Harlem Shake" or GTFO.
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