YouTube is sinking its teeth even further into the music industry. The video giant has inked a deal with SiriusXM to create a music countdown show, “The YouTube 15,” for the satellite radio provider’s Hits 1 station. The show will create its eponymous top 15 list using the previous week’s YouTube data to capture the video site’s musical zeitgeist at the moment. The show will feature established artists as well as emerging talent trending on YouTube.
YouTube has tapped a familiar face, and voice, to host the new show. Jenna Mourey, better known as Jenna Marbles on YouTube, will bring her entrainment talents to the host’s chair for “The YouTube 15.” As one of the platform’s top creators, YouTube is probably hoping that Jenna will also bring her 13 million subscribers and 1.5 billion views with her to the digital airwaves.
In a press release issued today, Jenna said, “”I’m incredibly excited to be working in a new medium with SiriusXM,” Marbles said. “I think we are going to make a really cool show, and I’m honored that they picked me to do it.”
Many of today’s top musical acts broke out on YouTube long before coming to terrestrial radio, and the company has been driving hard in recent months to cash in on its stealth stature in the music world. The site has recently tussled with indie record labels over the hardline negotiating tactics it’s employed in building its new streaming music service. Last year, YouTube started sharing its data with Billboard in an effort to modernize the music charts, a move that helped acts like PSY, Carly Rae Jepsen, and, recently, Iggy Azalea, crack the Hot 100. Now the company aims to burnish its taste-making credentials with a radio countdown show. Given YouTube’s proven ability to forecast unexpected musical trends, including unexpected ones like “Gangnam Style” and “The Harlem Shake,” the data-driven show could become mandatory listening for pop enthusiasts.
The inclusion of Jenna Marbles, one of YouTube’s most popular homegrown stars, seems like a deliberate attempt to avoid a repeat of YouTube’s most recent musical misstep, the 2013 YouTube Music Awards. While successful in garnering media attention for YouTube’s increasingly prominent place in the music world, the awards were trashed by the YouTube community, and even some celebrity guests, for featuring mostly mainstream acts and neglecting native YouTube musicians.
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