It’s hard to overstate the impact of Billboard’s decision to factor streaming into its chart rankings. Among other alterations, songs that don’t fit neatly into pop radio formats have a clearer path to #1, albums can debut in the top 10 with hardly any sales, and curated playlists on streaming services have taken on an … More »
Indications of the population’s interest in a given song and its accompanying music video make YouTube play counts a measure of that production’s overall popularity among listeners. If the rumors are true, YouTube play counts might soon prove even more influential within the world of chart rankings. Billboard is expected to implement YouTube plays in its Top 200 albums list in the months to come, an action that has yet to be confirmed by the media brand. The company’s Hot 100 singles chart already takes YouTube views into account, and the platform’s play counts are also evaluated by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) when awarding gold and platinum statuses, a testament to play counts’ general pull.
Some are in favor of the weight given to the number of YouTube play counts that a given record amasses, interpreting the inclusion of the counts in the determination of chart rankings and gold/platinum statuses to be reflective of the evolving digital landscape of music production. RIAA Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman expressed his support for the acknowledgment of the counts in a 2016 statement: “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.”
Others rather candidly contend that the departure from traditional evaluation standards in gold/platinum award status is simply “bs.” Top Dawg Entertainment CEO, Anthony Tiffith represented the opposition to Sherman’s next “logical step,” remarking “We [Top Dawg Entertainment] 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.”
If Billboard does indeed factor YouTube play counts into its Top 200 albums chart, the counts could render chart-topping album success less of a feat, and more of an obtainable goal, as music streaming pushes forward as an increasingly preferred and accessible manner to listen to music, new and old.
H/T: Your EDM
Though Robotaki is in the middle of his “I Want You” tour with Manila Killa, he somehow still has time to drop new, groundbreaking material. The tour itself has already seen major success and is just getting started, as the two young producers are set to perform all across the U.S. and Canada up until mid-November.
Robotaki has remixed Montreal native Billboard in his latest piece of work, putting a more positive, hard-hitting spin on one of the fellow Canadian’s most popular tracks off of his Memories EP. Keeping the original vocals in the same key signature, Robotaki adds in some groovy lead synths and chord progressions that brighten the track even further. The fact that Robotaki is able to continuously construct brilliant music while on his first major tour illustrates how much talent he truly possesses.
The Chainsmokers‘ pop mega-hit “Closer” dominated plays on radio and streaming services for months. However, despite remaining at #39 on the Billboard Hot 100, the song will no longer stay on the chart.
The track has been manually removed by Billboard in an effort to facilitate new songs into their listings. A Billboard rule states that if a song drops below the top 25 of the Hot 100 after 52 weeks, it will be removed. Unsurprisingly, one of the best examples of this is also a Chainsmokers song. “Don’t Let Me Down” spent exactly one year on the charts before peculiarly dropping off. Whether Billboard’s staff secretly hates The Chainsmokers or are just sticklers for rules, there is no denying the duo’s distinct ability to make chart-topping hits.
H/T: Your EDM
Rick Ross headlined the Sun Stage last night (8/19), capping off a day-long party of genre-hopping hysteria on Billboard Hot 100 Festival’s second-biggest stage. Ross has hits, and he let it be known. Whether it was his own tracks or features on the smashes of others, the Maybach Music leader made the most of his … More »
Gucci Mane hit the main stage just after 6 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 19) at the Billboard Hot 100 Festival riding off a DJ set that delivered cuts from Migos, 21 Savage, Lil Uzi Vert and, most significantly, “Classical (Intro),” off his 2009 major-label debut, The State Vs. Radric Davis. And when he arrived he came … More »
The Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival returns to New York this weekend, with fan favorite performers taking over Jones Beach on Saturday, August 19 and Sunday, August 20. Headlining the two-day event come the likes of Zedd, Major Lazer and Marshmello, while artists from Le Youth, Whethan, and many more are set for the signature beach stage.
Just days away, we break down the acts you won’t want to miss when Hot 100 gets underway in New York.
3:10-3:55PM @ Beach Stage
Kick off your Hot 100 weekend at the Beach Stage, where Young Bombs will supply the early energy in a setting that embodies the Jones Beach music experience. Straight off their Lollapalooza performance, the duo heads to New York festival-ready and equipped with new tunes. Known for their popular remixes over the past year, Young Bombs newest offering came just this week; a rendition of Frank Walker’s “Less Lonely.”
6-6:45PM @ Heatseekers Stage
If you’re seeking heat, look no further than FLETCHER, set to perform at the aptly named Heatseekers Stage. FLETCHER has been one of pop’s promising young talents since breaking through with her single “War Paint” in 2015, and the singer has established herself as an artist with her recent Finding Fletcher EP. With hits like “Wasted Youth” and an impressive young catalogue, FLETCHER is one act on Saturday you’ll want to catch while you can.
6:30-7:15PM @ Hot 100 Stage
Stars of today and tomorrow will flood the stages of Billboard’s Hot 100 Fest, and Camila Cabello stands out among pop icons set to perform. Formerly a member of Fifth Harmony, Cabello is currently powering forward with her solo career and has the music to ascend to new heights. Her recent singles “OMG” with Quavo and “Havana” featuring Young Thug were released to widespread acclaim, and collaborations with the likes of Major Lazer and Cashmere Cat prove her compatibility deeper into the dance space. With her debut solo album due next month, Camila Cabello and her collection of brand new hits will be a sight to be seen at the Hot 100 Stage.
9:45-11PM @ Hot 100 Stage
It’s only appropriate that Diplo and Major Lazer bring Hot 100 Fest to its conclusion this Sunday night. Perhaps the most interesting act of the weekend in respect to their genre-crossover appeal, attendees should expect for Major Lazer’s nighttime set to unite all fans for an explosive finale. With their new Know No Better EP setting the soundtrack of the summer, the group will come with an arsenal jam-packed with hits. From “Cold Water” to “Run Up” or “Lean On” to “Pon de Floor,” Major Lazer’s original music assures that there will be not one dull moment for the Jones Beach crowd.
It’s not too late to join the party this weekend. For a chance to win a pair of tickets, enter our contest below. Winners will be chosen at 12PM EST on Friday, August 18.
For more information visit the official site of the Billboard Hot 100 Fest.
Purchase tickets here while you still can.
Rest assured, Soundcloud’s been saved— and the company’s in good hands.
Follow the reassurance the company was going to stay afloat just last week thanks to two “angel investors,” since confirmed to be The Raine Group and Temasek Holdings, the company’s at last secured its last round of investments following an approval by its board.
The Raine Group, a boutique merchant bank, joined in part by the Singapore-based investment company Temasek, were, at last, approved of their $169.5 million investment round that will inject some much-needed cash into the streaming giant.
Former Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor will be succeeding SoundCloud’s founder Alex Ljung as the company’s chief executive—while Lijuing will remain part of the company’s independent future—serving on SoundCloud’s board.
“All of this together — the capital, the capital partners — with Kerry and Mike joining our team — it puts our company in a really great position to stay strong and remain independent,” Ljung told Billboard in an interview. “We see a strong, independent future for the company.”
Speaking on the future of the company, Trainor expressed his desire to open artistic experimentation, even more, upping the platform’s unique identity in the digital music space.
“SoundCloud is the largest open audio platform in the world,” he told Billboard. “Millions of creators choose these tools to share their work with the world — that will remain at the focus and center of the company.”
Throughout his experience running Vimeo—a video platform created by and for filmmakers— Trainor gained considerable experience that he explained will inform his work at SoundCloud, as he places greater emphasis on developing tools for musicians, DJs, and other creators. Also explaining to Billboard, Trainor said he hopes to increase the reach of the streaming service amongst creators, by expanding its creative toolkit.
So far SoundCloud is successfully reviving itself, as its last reported user rate was near 170 million users worldwide, seeing double-digit gains in upload subscribers, uploads, listening time and listener subscriptions. Total revenue has also more than doubled, at a $100 million annual run-rate this year.
“There is only one SoundCloud. It’s unique. We just closed out the first decade and created a really unique platform that impacts global music every day,” said Ljung. “I’m really excited about the next decade.”
Brighter days and steady streaming lie ahead.