The chart game could change forever, as rumors swirl that Billboard will soon factor in YouTube plays for its coveted Top 200 albums list…
The music company’s popular Hot 100 singles chart already counts YouTube views and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) even takes those streaming numbers into account when determining gold and platinum statuses.
In an official statement from 2016, RIAA Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman backed up the change:
“We know that music listening – for both for 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.”
On the flip side, other music execs have argued against the new methodology. Case-in-point, Top Dawg Entertainment CEO Anthony Tiffith on Kendrick Lamar‘s To Pimp A Butterfly platinum certification:
“We don’t stand behind this RIAA BS. Ole [school] rules apply. One million albums sold is platinum. Until we reach that [number], save all the congrats. No cheat codes [to] platinum.”
Similarly, YouTube numbers could change Billboard’s Top 200 history forever, making it easier for artists to achieve chart-topping album success. It’s not really cheating if the same rules apply to everyone, right?
As of now, The Killers’ claim the top spot with Wonderful Wonderful, Macklemore‘s GEMINI comes in at #2, and Lil Uzi Vert‘s Luv Is Rage 2 rounds out the top 3.