Photo by Eric Piermont, AFP/Getty Images.
NEW YORK -- Viral videos are hits on the Web, and now they can help propel a song to the top of the Billboard charts.
Billboard has announced that U.S. YouTube data is now one of the factors when ranking Hot 100 songs and songs on its other charts.
The new rule went into effect this week, with the viral-video hit "Harlem Shake" debuting at No. 1. Other factors include radio airplay, digital download sales, physical single sales, on-demand audio streaming and online radio streaming. Billboard's new rule incorporates all official videos on YouTube, including Vevo.
"Harlem Shake," by Brooklyn producer Baauer, features few lyrics. The video has a heavy dance-flavored beat. It became a viral success thanks to hundreds of YouTube videos of people dancing to the song.