YouTube viewership catapults Harlem Shake to top of Billboard chart
New York - Harlem Shake, a song that led thousands of fans to upload themselves dancing to the catchy beat, has landed on top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart after Billboard said it would include YouTube statistics in the metrics used to compile the list.
Harlem Shake will debut at number one on the singles chart this week, making it the first song by a virtually unknown artist to land at the coveted place in Billboard’s history.
Billboard, along with Nielsen - the company responsible for tracking the popularity of songs - are now using YouTube statistics to establish rankings, adding to Nielsen’s previous formula of counting digital downloads, physical singles sales, terrestrial and online radio airplay and on-demand audio streaming.
"The very definition of what it means to have a hit is ever-changing these days," said Bill Werde, Billboard’s editorial director, in a statement on the company’s website. "The Billboard charts are the ultimate measure of success in music, and they constantly evolve to reflect these new music experiences." Harlem Shake, a song by New York-based DJ Baauer released in May 2012, went unnoticed until a group of Australian men uploaded a video dancing to the song February 3.
The video with its trademark moves and motorbike helmet created an internet fad prompting 12,000 spin-off videos within the first week alone, according to YouTube Trends, a blog following the site’s statistics.
Valentine’s Day brought another surge in the number of videos uploaded, and YouTube Trends reported versions of the song have been viewed about 175 million times by then.
Billboard started its new tracking method the following week and found the song was streamed online 103 million times that week alone, the company reported.//DPA