Now that Billboard and Nielsen have adjusted their Hot 100 rankings to include online video activity, music producer Baauer's viral sensation, "Harlem Shake," has topped the charts — something that would have been unimaginable were it not for his YouTube ubiquity. According to Nielsen, "Harlem Shake" has also already benefited from viral-video-influenced sales of more than 262,000 downloads. But while Baauer may be the first artist to directly benefit from the chart's new rules, plenty of other musicians have YouTube to thank for their success. Here, a look at six other artists who got their start with the help of the video-sharing platform:
1. Justin Bieber
Beliebe it or not, there was a time back in 2007 when Justin Bieber was just the 13-year-old son of a proud mother who enjoyed sharing his talents with friends and family members via YouTube videos. As Bieber's mother added more videos and her channel amassed more followers, Justin got a big break in the form of a big mistake: Thanks to an accidental click, one of his videos appeared for talent executive Scooter Braun, who was impressed. Braun tracked Bieber down, got him recording demos with Usher... and the world pretty much knows the rest of the story.
Psy's chart-topping musical success in America came thanks to the South Korean rapper's outlandish viral "horse dance" video, which swept the world in 2012. "Gangnam Style" went on to rack up more than a billion YouTube views and a Guinness World Record — for most YouTube likes — to boot. Without a service like YouTube, it's safe to say a Korean-language pop song like "Gangnam Style" wouldn't have achieved the same level of worldwide ubiquity.
3. Soulja Boy
Long before "Gangnam Style" was around to inspire a million parody videos, Chicago-born rapper Soulja Boy started a dance craze that culminated with his single "Crank That (Soulja Boy)," topping the Billboard Hot 100 in September 2007. Although the single was initially released independently, Soulja Boy's first major-label album, Souljaboytellem.com, went platinum.
This duo of music-school graduates lit up the blogosphere with their poppy cover songs, scoring a 2011 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show thanks to their viral cover of Chris Brown's "Look At Me Now." Not long after, Karmin nabbed a record deal with Epic and performed their own original songs on Saturday Night Live.
5. Julia Nunes
Multi-instrumentalist Julia Nunes grabbed the attention of YouTubers in 2008 with her impressive cover videos, in which she sang, played ukulele, and harmonized with herself as if she were a one-woman band. The entrepreneurial 20-something quickly got to work starting her own record label, opening for piano-rock stalwart Ben Folds and releasing three albums.
6. Bo Burnham
Perhaps more of a musical comedian than a pure musician, Bo Burnham began his comedy career in 2006 when he started posting humorous songs about everything from race to sexuality on YouTube. It wasn't long before Burnham was approached by an agent, performed stand-up on Comedy Central Presents (the youngest comedian ever to do so), went on a world tour, and released two comedy albums.