Baauer’s ‘Harlem Shake’: Warner Bros. Strikes Deal With Mad Decent for Distribution, Services

Billbord cover featuring Baauer

Mad Decent, the label helmed by Diplo, has partnered with Warner Bros. Records for a worldwide distribution and services arrangement for Baauer’s “Harlem Shake,” a Warner Bros. rep confirmed to Billboard.biz today.

The single was serviced to radio stations by WB on Tuesday, with an email touting the many major stations across the country that are airing the song.

The song, the biggest viral sensation since PSY’s “Gangnam Style,” was the first to benefit from YouTube streaming data being included in multiple Billboard and Nielsen platforms, including the Hot 100. The song soared into the No. 1 spot on the Hot 100 last week.

The inclusion of YouTube streaming data enhanced a recipe that includes digital download track sales (and physical singles sales), as tracked by Nielsen SoundScan, as well as terrestrial radio airplay, on-demand audio streaming, and online radio streaming, as tracked by Nielsen BDS.

"Shake" became just the 21st song (of 1,023 No. 1s dating to the chart's 1958 launch) to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100. Even more notably, it was the first song to start at the summit by an artist essentially unknown prior to charting. Of the prior 20 No. 1 debuts, three were by artists making their first Hot 100 appearances, but all -- Clay Aiken, Fantasia and Carrie Underwood -- had built familiarity via months of weekly TV exposure on Fox's "American Idol" (2002-05). Lauryn Hill also sent her solo debut "Doo Wop (That Thing)" to a No. 1 beginning in 1998, but she was, by then, known for fronting R&B act the Fugees.

Baauer (born Harry Rodrigues) has taken advantage of the digital era (and the Hot 100's formula revision) to quickly make his hit the most popular song in the country. The track has surged thanks to the suddenly wildly popular "Harlem Shake" meme. (Its concept: a 30-second video begins with a person dancing to the song alone for 15 seconds, while other people appear unaware of the movement. Then, all participants join in for the clip's second half.) Fueled by the song's audio as a backing track, "Shake" debuts on the BDS-based Streaming Songs chart with an astounding 103 million weekly streams. The title does not appear on On-Demand Songs as only 309,000 of its streams stem from the online subscription services that contribute to that chart.