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Google Unveils YouTube 100 Chart

May 16, 2011

Oh Google. Always at that swelling forefront; forcing unpreventable change upon society. Whether it’s the Android phone, Google Trends or trail-blazing advertising technology, the multinational superpower always seems to defy the old saying ‘it’s too good to be true.’

YouTube and Google have become greater tracking agents of social trends in music, whether it's views of a new Lady GaGa music video, or an ambiguous independent artist.

Most recently, Google’s inclusion of the new “YouTube 100 Chart” provides another foreshadowing influence, sure to rock the socks of music market research giants such as Billboard.

With the internet’s continuously growing role in music distribution, Billboard’s once-accurate scope of album sales has deteriorated over the years, as more and more fans acquire music through illegal music downloading websites. Piracy’s enormous role in music distribution has elevated the range of independent artists, while stifling the power of large-scale acts. All the while, marketing heavyweights have become blinded to musical trends and prodigies, which appear and disappear almost daily.

Record sales have survived mostly in the younger, less technologically-savvy market, where albums by the Jonas Brothers, Hannah Montana and Glee still break sales records of legendary recording artists such as the Beatles and Elvis. However, the industry knows that today’s trends live and die on the internet, where outlets such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube serve as nurturing agents for emerging music.

The inaugural YouTube 100 chart featured Jennifer Lopez’s newest single, “On The Floor,” at the top spot. “Judas” by Lady GaGa followed at second, while Katy Perry’s “E.T.,” featuring Kanye West, rounded out the first three.

Internet sensations such as Rebecca Black always appear out of nowhere. Now the YouTube 100 will bring light to these sensations and their unpredictable lasting ability.

Rebecca Black, the 13-year-old internet sensation whose hilariously bubbly song “Friday” was recorded for a mere $4,000, held a strong position at number eight. Not surprisingly, the YouTube 100 has opened windows for the Rebecca Blacks of the world to stand toe-to-toe with the likes of Lady GaGa and Beyonce.

Call it annoying whiplash trends or brilliant musical availability; YouTube and Google are changing the way we measure our artists’ popularity.

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