Streams of officially licensed music videos on Facebook, which were added to the social platform on Aug. 1, 2020, in the U.S., will soon be factored into the Billboard Hot 100, Billboard 200, Artist 100 and Billboard Global 200 charts, as well as all other charts that incorporate streaming data, it was announced Wednesday.
The changes will take effect with the charts dated March 27, reflecting sales and streams from March 12-18. Only data from officially licensed music videos will be factored in, with user-generated content excluded from the tallies. Facebook video plays are categorized as ad-supported on-demand streams and represent U.S.-based activity only. Within MRC Data’s Music Connect platform, Facebook videos will be included among On-Demand Video totals, with the data visible beginning with activity on March 5.
This is just the latest push to incorporate video streams into official chart rankings. In February 2013, Billboard began factoring YouTube streams (including user-generated content) into its song-specific charts, followed by the addition of officially licensed music video streams (excluding UGC) into the album charts in January 2020.
"Music availability and consumption continues to increase at a remarkable rate and the industry has seen incredible innovation across many digital platforms," said Silvio Pietroluongo, senior vp, charts & data development for MRC Data and Billboard. "We are excited to announce the inclusion of Facebook's U.S. Premium Music Video streams to Music Connect and to Billboard’s charts, including the Billboard Hot 100, Billboard 200 and Billboard Global 200, further expanding the most comprehensive view of music consumption and trends impacting the business."
"Artists deserve recognition in music charts for the social capital they drive and the social discovery they fuel," added Tamara Hrivnak, vp of business development and partnerships at Facebook. "Adding music video plays on Facebook to the Billboard charts is an important step in the right direction."
Hrivnak continued, "On Facebook, music videos represent so much more than just the video itself -- it’s about creating a new channel for social experiences around music so you can discover a new artist from a music video shared by an artist you follow or a friend in News Feed, connect with other fans who share your passion in a Facebook Group dedicated to your favorite artist, and react to a video in real time as it premieres, all on the same platform."
Recent examples of high-performing music videos on Facebook include Alicia Keys’ “Love Looks Better” as well as exclusive premieres from Karol G (“Bichota”), Sam Smith (“The Lighthouse Keeper”) and Phoebe Bridgers (“Savior Complex”). All were boosted by heavy involvement from the artists themselves, who took part in a variety of interest-drivers including live sessions on both Facebook and Instagram, comment thread engagement with fans and custom stickers and effects, among other elements.
"Music videos on Facebook are unique because they enable fans to build community around the artists, songs, and content that they love," Hrivnak added. "The music videos that tend to perform best are often ignited by a spark - by an artist engaging with their community on Facebook, or a public figure sharing their favorite video - that inspires fans to engage, comment, and share with their friends."
Facebook tells Billboard that the discovery and sharing of music videos on the platform is fostered in a variety of ways. New releases are displayed in users’ news feeds based on the artists and labels they follow and are also easily found through search and official artist pages. In Facebook Watch, videos are surfaced according to the artists a user follows, with the experience personalized over time based on the content they engage with.