Given how dominant YouTube is as a place for young people to listen to music, it's notable how slow Google has been to embrace radio partnerships. But the company is announcing an interesting move in that direction tonight: it's launching a weekly radio show on Sirius XM Hits 1, the satellite radio service's top station for pop music. "The YouTube 15," which will be hosted by YouTube personality Jenna Marbles, will air on Fridays starting July 11th at 6 PM ET, and replay throughout the weekend.
Sirius will choose which songs to play
YouTube is lending Sirius XM its name and data around video views to help Sirius programming executives choose which songs to play. The show will highlight artists who are emerging on YouTube as well as other pop songs popular on the platform, the companies said in a statement. If the show were to begin today, they said, it might feature Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass," Mayra Veronica's "Mama Yo!", and a cover of Green Day's "American Idiot" by 5 Seconds of Summer. You'll be able to find the weekly countdown as a video playlist on YouTube.
For Sirius, the show is a way to capture some of the enthusiasm around YouTube's community of up-and-coming artists, who are generating video views by the millions. For YouTube, it's a way of attracting a new (and likely older) audience to its stars, which it can then sell to advertisers. It also helps YouTube sell the dream of mainstream stardom to the independent artists on its platform, at a time when it's fighting with indie labels over the terms of its forthcoming subscription service. As YouTube's younger audience grows up and starts driving, its moves into radio bear watching.