Rock Hall curatorial director on YouTube's impact on music rankings.
(Cleveland) - Have your heard of the "Harlem Shake" or seen one of the gazillion dance parody videos? If not, odds are you know someone who has.
"Harlem Shake" has been all over YouTube, and that's caught the attention of Billboard...the music industry magazine that ranks the top 100 songs.
Billboard announced that U.S. YouTube data is now one of the factors when ranking Hot 100 songs and songs on its other charts. The new rule went into effect this week, with the viral-video hit "Harlem Shake" debuting at No. 1. Other factors include radio airplay, digital download sales, physical single sales, on-demand audio streaming and online radio streaming. Billboard's new rule incorporates all official videos on YouTube, including Vevo.
"Harlem Shake" by Brooklyn producer Baauer features few lyrics. The video has a heavy dance-flavored beat. It became a viral success thanks to hundreds of YouTube videos of people dancing to the song.
Howard Kramer is the curatorial director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. He applauds the move by Billboard, calling it a "maturation" of the magazine. Kramer says cyber-world is the platform of choice now for music, be it YouTube, iTunes or iHeart Radio.
So how will the industry start building marketing plans that incorporate YouTube? Kramer says it'll be interesting to see how that happens. And will artists start crafting videos in the hopes that they "go viral" like "Harlem Shake" or "Call Me Maybe?"
As for the videos themselves...the medium has become relevant again, according to Kramer. Back when Duran Duran and Michael Jackson were in heavy rotation on MTV, videos could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Today all it takes is a smart phone and some computer software on your laptop.
Now...who's going to do "Harlem Shake" next?
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