YouTube will launch music charts in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt on Wednesday, listing the top artists and songs in a collection updated on a weekly basis.
YouTube Charts is designed to offer the Arabic music industry a more streamlined and transparent approach to measuring the popularity of releases.
The online video-sharing and social media platform has long been a launchpad for established and emerging names from the Arab world, and has experienced a surge in successful music channels from the region in the past four years. According to YouTube, as of August 2021, there were 170 music channels with more than one million subscribers; a growth of 800 per cent when compared to the 18 channels present in 2017.
“I have seen first-hand the impact YouTube has had on the Arabic music industry,” said Liliana Abudalo, head of music for the Middle East and North Africa at YouTube.
“There has been a great shift in how artists release their work in terms of production and promotion on YouTube. Artists now experiment with new song formats and use different features to engage with their fans. YouTube Charts will help emerging and established artists highlight their success and with more than two billion monthly logged in users, YouTube Charts will offer a more holistic representation of a song's performance.”
YouTube Charts will comprise four charts, and will be available on YouTube Music, as well as charts.youtube.com. The Top 100 Songs will show the most-played songs, including official music videos, user-generated content and lyrics videos. The Top 100 Artists will list the most-played artists, and the Top 100 Music Videos will list the most popular official music videos. The Top 100 lists will be updated every Sunday, and the Top 20 Trending category will show what’s new and hot in music, providing an insight into how audiences are connecting with new releases.
Tarek Amin, director of YouTube for the Middle East and North Africa, said: “Creators are the backbone of YouTube. This also includes the massive community of artists who choose YouTube to release their songs, interact with their audiences, and experiment with new song formats.
“Whether through Shorts, YouTube Studio, or YouTube Charts, we will continue to equip creators, including artists, with tools to elevate their work on YouTube and accelerate their success on our platform.”
Representatives from several major music companies in the region responded favourably to the launch.
“YouTube Music charts is a great platform for our artists here in the Middle East," said Moe Hamzeh, managing director of Warner Music. It’s a way for fans to see at a glance which songs are popping across the region, and we hope that leads to them discovering more about the artists behind the songs and the rest of their music; and that’s another tool to help us build our artists’ careers.”
Mohamed Gaber, vice president of Mazzika Group, said YouTube Charts will offer a novel way to keep track of how releases are being received.
“While what’s trending shows a brief snapshot of current releases, I believe YouTube puts itself on the front of artist and release analysis by introducing YouTube Music Charts, which will reflect release positioning every week,” he said.
YouTube premiered its subscription services, YouTube Music and YouTube Premium in the Middle East and North Africa in 2019, launching one of the most comprehensive Arabic music libraries in the region. Today, YouTube Premium and YouTube Music have more than 50 million users around the world.