Artists and labels will now not be capable of (for lack of a greater phrase) sport the Billboard charts by bundling their albums and singles with merchandise or live performance tickets.
Billboard introduced the brand new rules yesterday (July 13), stating that they’d “supersede” earlier modifications that had been announced last year and implemented in January.
The follow of bundling albums with merch has been a bone of rivalry in the trade for a while.
Last yr, for instance, a report prompt that DJ Khaled was planning to hit Billboard with a “monster lawsuit” in retaliation for missing out on a No.1 album to Tyler, The Creator’s Igor, after bundle gross sales of Khaled’s Father Of Asahd had been reportedly disqualified.
And again in 2018, Nicki Minaj fired off a sequence of livid tweets after missing out on the Billboard 200 top spot with her album, Queen, as Travis Scott’s ASTROWORLD hit No.1, boosted by bundled merch and ticket sales.
The previous rule change, which went to impact on January 3, required bundles to be offered by way of an artist’s official web site and for merch gadgets to made “available for purchase concurrently and individually” on the identical web site the place the album is being offered.
Separate gadgets of merch additionally needed to value lower than the value of the album/merch/ticket bundle.
According to Billboard, it has now “decided to eliminate the practice” altogether, “in an acknowledgement that those measures have fallen short of the intended goal of accurately reflecting consumer intent”.
“Billboard is implementing these changes to address widespread concerns that an accurate measure of consumer intent – which has been the basis of the Billboard charts since their inception — is being undermined by increasingly-common bundling practices.”
Added the new announcement: “Billboard is implementing these changes to address widespread concerns that an accurate measure of consumer intent – which has been the basis of the Billboard charts since their inception – is being undermined by increasingly-common bundling practices.
“The new guidelines will better ensure that Billboard chart rankings more accurately reflect the conscious purchasing decisions of consumers and level the playing field for all artists.
“Though the sales strategy of bundling albums goes back decades, more recently it has been employed by artists and labels to try and boost album sales, which have been continually falling over the last several years but are worth considerably more than streams on the charts.”Music Business Worldwide