Billboard To Count YouTube Streams Toward Charts In 2020

YouTube streams will finally be included in the totals of the weekly Billboard 200 albums chart.

Billboard announced the change is scheduled to go into effect on January 3, 2020. Previously, streams from the Google-owned platform were only factored into the Hot 100 and other song-related charts but never for the albums chart.

Image by Billboard

“As the steward of the definitive charts that uphold the industry’s measurement of music consumption, our goal is to continually respond and accurately reflect the changing landscape of the music,” The President Deanna Brown said. She noted, “Our decision to add YouTube and other video streaming data to our album charts reflects the continuing evolution of the music consumption market and the ways in which consumers connect to album-related content.”

As part of the change, licensed video content from outlets such as Apple, Spotify, TIDAL and VEVO will also be counted for the Billboard 200. The addition of video to the calculations will also be reflected in it’s genre album charts. While 2020 marks the first time YouTube data has factored into the Album charts, it has factored into the Hot 100 and other singles charts since 2013. But while song charts incorporate data from user-generated videos, the Billboard 200 and other album charts will only recognize “official licensed video content uploaded by or on behalf of rights holders.”

In addition to YouTube, the 200 album chart will also incorporate licensed video data from Apple, Spotify, Tidal and Vevo next year. This update comes five years after Billboard changed its methodology to include audio streaming, which now accounts for 80% of music industry revenue. The new video data will also apply to genre-specific album charts.