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Change in Billboard chart rules helps ‘Harlem Shake’ to the top

By | Published on Thursday 21 February 2013


Producer Baauer has jumped to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart in the US thanks to the ongoing ‘Harlem Shake’ video phenomenon and an important change in the way the track countdown is compiled, in that YouTube data has been incorporated for the first time.

America’s flagship songs chart, which always took both sales and radio airplay data into account, started including data from audio streaming services just under a year ago. Though the inclusion of YouTube data this week could have a bigger impact, it being the biggest streaming music service on the net, and one where crazes like the one that has recently built up around the ‘Shake’ track, initiated and fuelled by users uploading their own videos soundtracked by a certain song, can really take off.

The combination of the ‘silly group dance video’ fad and the change in Billboard chart rules means ‘Shake’, actually first released last year, becomes only the 21st song ever to enter the Billboard Hot 100 at number one. It’s also very rare for artists to go top with their first appearance on the Billboard countdown, that achievement usually being reserved for ‘Idol’ winners or artists famous through membership of a group who have gone solo.