YouTube could play a role on how artists are ranked on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
The Google-owned video streaming giant could help YouTube stars grab a spot on the ever-changing Billboard 200. The chart ranks the Top 200 albums in the U.S. based off of sales and streaming. If YouTube gets its way, it will influence the future of the chart, but the real question is: does it even matter?
The answer is YES. Here's why it does:
As Hits Daily Double points out, unlike other streaming services, YouTube requires no login, which increases "the potential—and now incentive—for manipulation and fraud." This fraud and manipulation could benefit country and rock acts and indie labels. It's also putting pressure on labels to get honest with their data who use their hidden figures to target charts that suit their liking.
It does not benefit the artist.
Hypebot reports that YouTube is under fire from the music industry because they pay labels, artists and other rights holders a fraction of what their competitors shell out. "By comparison, Spotify pays out approximately 75% more for its ad supported tier and 515% more for paid streaming than Google owned YouTube," they report. Struggling artists will struggle even more.
User generated videos will also be taken into consideration to tally the Billboard 200, which is deeply concerning. So if a video of a cat dancing to "Bodak Yellow" goes viral, will that boost Cardi B's chances for a higher ranking album on the Billboard 200? That seems extremely odd, but it's 2017 and therefore makes complete sense.
Is it the inevitable?
It seems that way. Billboard recently changed their formula behind its Hot 100 chart; one YouTube view counts the same as a stream from Spotify or Apple Music. Hypebot claims the Billboard 200 / YouTube inclusion is still in the discussion stages, but HDD seems pretty confident it's only a matter of time.
Get ready for a world where Rebecca Black has a No. 1 album.