Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

With YouTube Now Factored Into Billboard's Hot 100, "Harlem Shake" Is No. 1 This Week

Billboard has decreed that YouTube is to be used as a factor in the Hot 100's methodology. The magazine, said its editorial director Bill Werde, had been discussing the issue with the video site for two years, but the success of this year's ear-busting viral, "Harlem Shake," made Billboard move sooner, adding videos to the mix, which also includes data from music streaming firm Spotify. "The notion that a song has to sell in order to be a hit feels a little two or three years ago to me," said Werde. "The music business today has started to learn that there are lots of ways a song can be a hit, and lots of different ways that the business can benefit from it being a hit."

YouTube has long been a factor in a record's—and, indeed, an artist's—success. Just look at Gaga's arrival as the first billion-view artist back in 2010, and views of Psy's "Gangnam Style" are currently standing at 1,340,815,430. But counting the YouTube views will be a tricky task, and it will be up to Nielsen, whose data the Hot 100 uses, to define which YouTube views are valid, and which aren't. My money's on the official video sites from the record labels, although "Harlem Shake"'s success comes from the non-official videos, as you can see below.

This is the "official video" from Baauer, the artist behind the song. With hundreds of better offerings from all over the world, from Usain Bolt to Cara Delevigne, from washing machines to students, fashion designers, Playboy Playmates, 8-bit gaming versions, Peanuts, My Little Pony, which one should they choose? Which do you think is best?