In February of 2013, following the emergence of YouTube as a full music library, Billboard modified its process of charting songs by implementing a new formula that would include YouTube views. At first, the move was praised as fair to the artists not supported by the means of a major label, however like many ideas in the industry, this new policy left room for loop-holes.
Post Malone’s single, “Rockstar,” is currently sitting at the number 1 spot on the Billboard Top 100 spot, however there is a lot of controversy surrounding it’s positioning. A YouTube video that showed a looped version of “Rockstar’s” chorus alone was streamed 40 million times, propelling the song to the number one spot. This was not his original or his label promoted version of the song, it simply was the chorus looped for three minutes long. As a result of this, Billboard has opted to change the way in which they factor YouTube views into their equation.
The main adjustment to their policy is the emphasis on digital sales and streaming sites such as Spotify and Apple Music being weighed more than YouTube views when calculating the final charting of songs. Billboard explained by saying,
Ultimately, situations like this demonstrate just how unpredictable, and constantly changing the music industry can be. It’s hard to imagine the next platform to consume media with, but it is fair to assume that this isn’t the last wrench thrown into the format of charting songs and measuring artist popularity.