Billboard Changes Policy For Album Sales

Last Year Nicki Minaj called out Travis Scott after Queen debuted at No.2 behind Astroworld. She took to twitter to accuse Travis of tactics that artificially inflated his numbers. Today, Billboard has addressed the issue and announced that they are making changes on album/ merch bundles that will be in effect starting January 3, 2020. 

Nearly every No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart at the moment has benefited from bundling. This has sparked a public debate regarding bundle album sales, and whether or not they reflect a customers’ true interest in purchasing the album.

As a result, Billboard has made changes on album/ merch bundles in hopes to do a better job at capturing the public’s demand and artists’ achievements. Take a look at the new rules below.

“Moving forward, in order for an album sale to be counted as part of a merchandise/album bundle, all the items in the bundle must also be available for purchase concurrently and individually on the same website. In addition, the merchandise item sold on its own will have to be priced lower than the bundle which includes both the merchandise and the album. Further, merchandise bundles can only be sold in an artist’s official direct-to-consumer web store and not via third-party sites…

Under current rules and moving forward, any approved piece of merchandise that is clearly artist- or album-branded can be bundled with a copy of the album, with those sales counting for the charts when the physical album is shipped to the customer or when the digital album is fulfilled to the customer. However, the merchandise/album bundle must be priced at least $3.49 more than the merchandise item alone. ($3.49 is the minimum price of an album to qualify for the charts.)…

The new policies do not affect albums that are part of a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer bundle, where the price of an album is part of the cost of a ticket and the album’s inclusion is promoted to the customer at the beginning of their purchase experience. Then, after purchasing the ticket, the customer will receive an offer to redeem the album and have it mailed to them or to download it. Only the albums that are redeemed count toward Billboard’s charts, indicating a desire by a consumer to receive the album.” 

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