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February 21, 2013

'Harlem Shake' Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100 Thanks to YouTube

By Amanda Ciccatelli, TMCnet Web Editor

Today, Billboard added YouTube video streaming data to its platforms, including an update to the methodology for the Billboard Hot 100, the popular singles chart. So, YouTube (News - Alert) plays are being factored into the chart's ranking, enhancing a formula that includes Nielsen's digital download track sales and singles sales; as well as terrestrial radio airplay, on-demand audio streaming and online radio streaming.

Now, Billboard is incorporating all official videos on YouTube captured by Nielsen's streaming measurement, including Vevo on YouTube, and user-generated clips that utilize authorized audio into the Hot 100 charts to reflect the divergent platforms for music consumption.

This week, YouTube-influenced viral phenomenon “Harlem Shake" by producer Baauer debuts at No. 1 on both the Hot 100 and Streaming Songs charts and jumps 12-1 on Dance/Electronic Songs with 103 million views. The "Harlem Shake" benefits from viral video-influenced sales of 262,000 downloads, according to Nielsen.

Baauer has taken advantage of the digital era to make his hit the most popular song in the country. The track has surged thanks to the popular "Harlem Shake" meme. Its concept: a 30-second video begins with a person dancing to the song alone for 15 seconds, while other people appear unaware of the movement. Then, all participants join in for the clip's second half.

Last June, "Shake" was released commercially, but the video didn’t start selling significantly until last week, thanks to the track’s viral momentum, when it moved 18,000, according to Billboard. This week, it moved onto the Digital Songs chart at No. 3 with 262,000 downloads sold.

The one element missing from the success of "Shake" is radio airplay, which was released on the independent Mad Decent label. In the Hot 100's Feb. 13-19 BDS tracking week, the song registered two million audience impressions, with plays on 112 of the 1,235 stations monitored for the Hot 100. Latin pop-formatted WVOZ San Juan, P.R., leads all reporters with 25 plays for "Shake" last week.

This new inclusion of YouTube data comes one year after Billboard and Nielsen launched the On-Demand Songs chart and added streaming data from on-demand subscription services like Spotify (News - Alert), Muve Music, Rhapsody, Slacker, Rdio and Xbox Music to its chart offerings.




Edited by Ashley Caputo
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