Will Billboard Finally Enter Into The 21st Century?
Getting your album on the Billboard 200 chart may become a lot easier if a new rule goes into effect.
According to a report from Hits Daily Double, for the first time, YouTube streams may now be factored into the ranking of albums on the Top 200 albums chart, including streams for user-generated clips. Lyor Cohen, head of global music at YouTube, was reportedly in charge of the change, hoping to cater to the modern day styles of music consumption.
YouTube views already count towards the Hot 100 chart and other album charts, and are even factored in by the Recording Industry Association of America when determining gold and platinum status.
While factoring in online streams may make it easier for artists to chart and go gold and platinum, not everyone has been a fan of the new rules. In 2016, after Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly was certified platinum, Top Dawg Entertainment CEO Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith slammed the changes the RIAA had made to allow YouTube streams to be factored into gold and platinum album certifications.
“We don’t stand behind this RIAA BS,” Tiffith wrote. “Ole [school] rules apply. One million albums sold is platinum. Until we reach that [number], save all the congrats. No cheat codes [to] platinum.”
In a statement last year, RIAA Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman stood by the 2016 change, saying, “We know that music listening – for both albums and songs — is skyrocketing, yet that trend has not been reflected in our album certifications. Modernizing our Album Award to include music streaming is the next logical step in the continued evolution of Gold and Platinum Awards, and doing so enables RIAA to fully reward the success of artists’ albums today.”
The latest change has yet to be confirmed by Billboard, but if put into effect, artists outside the mainstream major label machine may have a chance to land on the Billboard 200 chart.