YouTube Expands Its Music Charts, Adds Trending Chart For New Releases

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YouTube Inc. signage is displayed at the YouTube Space LA venue in Los Angeles.

YouTube today (May 10) announced changes to its charts, expanding them to 44 territories -- including the U.K., Japan, Germany and Brazil -- and adding a new Trending Chart, which will update several times throughout each day to reflect new releases gaining the most traction on its platform. As part of the update, the company is also revamping its charts for Top Songs, Top Artists and Top Music Videos.

"The Trending Chart just [speaks] to that role that YouTube plays, both for users and within the industry, as a source of discovery of new artists and new content," Stephen Bryan, YouTube's head of label relations, told Billboard in an interview this week. "The Trending Chart will essentially preference new music and will be updated multiple times a day to provide a near-real-time view of what is truly the hottest, has the highest trajectory, on the platform."

In the past, YouTube has maintained a global chart of top videos on its platform, and had previously introduced a chart specific to the United States. These new chart updates have been in development for some time, Bryan explained, and will be playable as playlists on YouTube's platform.

In addition to the new Trending Chart, YouTube's Top Songs chart will be ranked by the most combined views of a song's official versions on the platform (official video, lyric video, approved user-generated videos, etc.); Top Artists will combine all total views of an artist's official releases on the platform, including collaborations; and Top Music Videos will focus on views of official music videos. All three charts will be updated every Sunday at noon PST.

Bryan noted that several genres tend to over-index on YouTube's platform, such as Latin and rising hip-hop artists. Most streaming services -- including Spotify, Apple Music and Soundcloud -- also have charts of what is popular on their individual platforms. Billboard's charts combine a slew of metrics, including YouTube views for its songs charts, to tabulate its charts across a wide array of consumption.

The new updates also come as YouTube is preparing to unveil its new subscription streaming service, which is rumored to be arriving in the coming months. This also comes on the heels of a reshuffle of artist pages, announced in January, that effectively streamlined the service and combined several different channels into one destination. 

"Obviously, music is incredibly important to YouTube and this is an incredibly important year for us in music and we have a lot of exciting launches," Bryan said. "But I think this is just representative of our ongoing deep commitment to music, to the music industry and to providing our users with constant sources of new discovery and connecting them with artists. It's one of many significant investments that we're going to continue to make to make that commitment richer for the industry and for our user base."