Con los terroristas. The Billboard Hot 100, generally considered the country’s biggest chart for new music, has decided to take YouTube plays into consideration – just in time to propel Baauer’s ‘Harlem Shake’ top the chart’s top spot. Billboard editiorial director Bill Werde recently told the New York Times,“The notion that a song has to sell in order to be a hit feels a little two or three years ago to me”. The success of songs like Gangnam Style solely through viral video have forced the magazine to re-evaluate the way people choose the listen to music.
Baauer released ‘Harlem Shake’ as a free download last May, but it failed to come anywhere close to charting, amassing only 18,000 downloads. Since the song went viral, however, the track has been downloaded 262,000 times in addition to over 100 million views through all of the viral videos. Billboard’s Werde told the time that even without counting the YouTube videos, ‘Harlem Shake’ would have charted in the Top 15, as it was the third most downloaded track this week.
This is one of the rare times an instrumental track will take the #1 spot on the charts. It’s also a pretty fascinating look at the way we listen to music nowadays – this song has become the most popular song in America by playing the in the background while thousands of people around the world danced like morons. I told you last week that your mom was about to know who Baauer is, but I don’t think anybody thought it’d go as far as Billboard chart topper.
Oh, and Baauer now has more Billboard #1 hits than Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin, The Who, and Bob Dylan combined.