In an age when a million video views can mean more than a recording contract, it seems the traditional world of music has begun to understand the true power of a viral YouTube video. And if you can’t beat ‘em, join em.
Not to be caught out of step with what is popular around America, Billboard’s Hot 100 List has announced that it will now include popular YouTube hits. Following this announcement, it was revealed that as of Wednesday “Harlem Shake” was ranked number one on on the Hot 100 List. The “Harlem Shake” music video, originally released by Baauer, has quickly generated copycat versions across the internet that include things ranging from dancing dogs to exploding washing machines.
By incorporating YouTube hits in to the magazine’s 55-year-old singles chart, Billboard is acknowledging the popularity and talent of artists within the YouTube world. Now YouTube singles will be measured against the standards of traditional tracks, and with “Harlem Shake” currently at number one, YouTube is showing it is not just a fall-back option for musicians but rather a viable media platform that should be used by artists everywhere to share their music.