Billboard has announced changes to the rules of its considerations for the Billboard , Hot and other album and song charts. According to the chart magazine, the announcement made today July 14 comes as the outlet tries to rectify how sales are counted with respect to album bundles. Album bundles constitute the sale of an album alongside merchandise and concert tickets, as well as instant digital sales attached to purchases of physical albums received at a later date, all done in order to boost sales. Under new rules, Billboard will eliminate the counting of album bundles on its album and song charts entirely. Furthermore, sales of physical albums or singles bundled with a digital download will no longer count towards a digital sale, only counted toward the chart once a physical copy is dispatched. In January, Billboard announced three major changes to its bundling rules, including the requirement that merchandise sold separately must be lower in price than bundles inclusive of the album. News Music News. Billboard reveals new chart rules, doing away with merch bundles. The publication says similar changes in January "have fallen short of the intended goal". By Anna Rose.
Travis Scott's first-week numbers for 'Astoworld' were boosted by merch-album bundles. Last August, a business-school discount technique sparked a fight between rap royalty. Bundling has become increasingly pervasive, even on a modest scale. The goal is to boost both chart position — Billboard counts bundled sales in many cases — and revenue: In the streaming era, the margin on selling music has shrunk, but there is still profit to be made from selling clothing. This math is bonkers. Artists bundle for two reasons. The first is to replace income that used to come from selling music. But charts matter almost as much as finances. Bundles have been helping to enhance sales numbers at least since Prince gave away copies of Musicology with concert tickets in Who cares about chart position, you ask?
Billboard is changing the rules to its album charts, affecting the way sales will be counted on those tallies in respect to merchandise bundles. The new rules go into effect Jan. 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. Regarding the Jan. Likewise, for already released albums, those looking to count further sales on the albums charts from must also adhere to the new rules from Jan. 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. The new rules look to address that concern, by offering customers the option to purchase the merchandise with or without the album. 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.
A larger lens has since been placed onthe controversial yet common practice of bundling and its effects on sales and charts.
It goes without saying that Billboard rankings are considered the de facto source of commercial success by the industry, artists, and stans alike. In this case, both artists and their respective marketing teams and labels used bundles. Bundling devalues the art and is demeaning to the artists. It needs to go, and we are urging Billboard to take that step as soon as possible.
Okayplayer reviewed a few artists who have benefited from this ongoing industry trend in the past few years. At press time, Madonna has reached No. To place this in perspective, her first album to reach the summit position was her sophomore effort, Like A Virgin , in Billboard reports that her 90, album equivalents in its debuting week were the result of concert ticket bundles, as well as exclusive merchandise on her website.
This is not the first time, Madge has reached No. Jumping back to , this Disney Channel starting trio also benefited from concert ticket bundles. Although they had the fuel of a No. Remember, Taylor Swift has benefited from album bundles to keep her charting legacy intact.
All of this worked — in addition to pre-sales — as the album sold 1. Swift became the only artist to have four of her albums debut with more than 1 million albums sold in its opening week. Continuing with album sales trends, Billboard made sure to highlight how artists were gaming their album charts with bundles. Of that list, which included P! The following year, Genius also highlighted how albums were topping the charts through bundles in For their debut studio album released that year, Memories… Do Not Open reached the top of the chart selling , copies — an untold number coming with free copies accompanying concert ticket sales.
When releasing in , Hov made his album exclusively available to only Sprint and TIDAL customers for streaming and downloading. Sprint customers received a free six month subscription, also boosting the stats for the streaming service. Some loyal fans may have even switched to Sprint as their phone provider. However, Billboard chose not to count the Sprint album downloads. In the midst of the heated chart battle, Minaj also had a bundle running for Queen. Still, she ended up at No. Subscribe to Okayplayer and enjoy the following benefits:.
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