Nielsen and Billboard now including YouTube views

Since 1936, Nielsen has been rating music according to popularity based on radio plays. It is their ratings that are used by Billboard to compile the Hot 100 list. Arguably, they have been behind the times until now. Nielsen has begun including YouTube video views in their ratings system, which saw a huge shift in the Hot 100 list. Baauer’s “Harlem Shake,” which is now the number 1 song in the U.S., was only been played on the radio twice last week. Its number 1 status is due entirely to the viral video craze of YouTubers filming themselves dancing to a clip from the song.

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This new rating method will include not only official music videos, but also videos from regular YouTubers using the music. This system should benefit independent artists who post on YouTube, and will also see mainstream artists with music videos rising in the rankings.

In addition to the music industry, Nielsen is also planning to include Internet viewing of television shows in its ratings as well. Television networks determine whether or not to continue a television series based on these ratings, and it’s fairly obvious that for the past few years the ratings have been skewed, with shows enjoyed by internet-savvy and younger viewers not receiving their full due. Nielsen is hoping that by fall 2013, they will be able to count views from streaming services, including on mobile devices, to get more accurate ratings.

Of course, if you want to see ratings about YouTube videos, Social Blade is the definitive source. We not only have ratings according to the top 10, 100, and 500 subscribed and viewed channels, we also break it down by category and country.