Billboard Does The Harlem Shake


baauer-harlem-shake-cover-story-phil-knott-650-430Ok, they didn’t really do the Harlem Shake (at least as far as I know) and in reality, this title wouldn’t be making headlines now that thousands of people — sports teams, offices, musicians and celebrities alike — have been posting videos of themselves doing the ‘Harlem Shake.’

The Harlem Shake, if you’re not familiar, is a dance frightening humping and flailing (often half naked) to a song that has pretty much taken the nation by storm…… or really taken the nation by flailing like an idiot in costume.

The notable part of this particular story isn’t the folks at Billboard shaking like they’ve been possessed by the spirit, but really the fact that the success of this song at YouTube has given them the most compelling reason to start including YouTube streams as a determinant of The Hot 100 (as if Cat Daddy, Gangnam Style or Call Me Maybe weren’t enough).

Billboard has come to realize that sales and radio airplay are not the only determining factors of the success of a song. They have recently added streaming services like Spotify to their list of variables and understand that not only does YouTube contribute to the organic discovery of a track, but its overall success as well. Not to mention this is a space where music can also be monetized for the artist.

The landscape of the music business has changed dramatically in the past 3 years. Fortunately for us, the way in which Billboard measures the success of the business has also changed to account for a large part of how we consume music — with YouTube. What is even more fortunate for us is not only do people want to consume the music, they want to star in the music videos as well. Contributing to a second week at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, some of my favorite Harlem Flailers below — you’re welcome.

UGA Men’s Swim & Dive Team

Matt and Kim

Jon Stewart

ASU Men’s Gymnastics

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