It's no secret to anyone that a lot of people listen to a lot of music on YouTube. It's mostly young people, but generally, that's who listens to music the most anyway. It's taken a few years, but the music industry is starting to accept this even if it's not happy with it.
The latest sign that the times are slowly changing, YouTube data is now included in the Billboard top 100, the gold standard for what's hot in pop music for decades now.
"All official videos on YouTube, including user-generated clips that utilize authorized audio, will now factor into how a song’s popularity is determined," YouTube explained.
It's a great step in aligning the charts to the reality of what people are listening to, though it comes with its own problem, the biggest being that of fake views.
Many videos, including music videos by hugely popular artists have millions or tens of millions of fake views. YouTube is working to erase them, but it does raise the question of their legitimacy. Then again, radio plays what the music labels tell them to play.
The make matters worse, there are tens of shady online services available for hire, that will help any paying customer increase its YouTube video views by using botnet-like structures that bombard YouTube's servers with HTTP requests and artificially increase its popularity.