Radio has had a major role in the Hot 100 since its inception in 1958, and as long as terrestrial radio still exists, it should still have a role; it reflects what more passive music consumers are hearing, which is sometimes boring but still valuable. But in the last decade, digital music in all its forms has taken a greater role. Digital retailers were added to the chart in 2005 and have had an outsize effect since then; Spotify and other on-demand streaming was added a year ago. But iTunes alone couldn’t give Psy his No. 1 song in America. If YouTube had a say in the Hot 100 last year, “Gangnam” — which was top of the hit parade in every schoolyard, backyard and rec room in our nation last fall — would doubtless have been a Casey Kasem–worthy chart-topper.
– Chris Molanphy in an excellent discussion with Jody Rosen at Slate, regarding recent changes to the Billboard Hot 100, which will now add YouTube views to its calculations. What impact will this have on the charts? Will the charts become flooded with novelties on the order of “The Harlem Shake”? Etc. (I haven’t yet heard “The Harlem Shake,” the novelty hit around which much of this conversation is based — for some reason, I can not get sussed to wade through the dozens of viral videos it has apparently inspired — but with these chart changes afoot, maybe it’ll show up on my car radio dial soon enough. I’m a popist, but a decidedly old-fashioned one.)