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Thread: Billboard: Rule Changes Thread

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    bm08's Avatar
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    by Tue November 26th, 2019, 17:06

    Nov. 26th 2019: Billboard Announces New Rules For Merchandise/Album Bundles
    Dec 13th 2019: Billboard 200 to Include Official Video Plays From YouTube, Streaming Services




    Billboard Announces New Rules For Merchandise/Album Bundles


    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. 3, 2020. 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. Regarding the Jan. 3, 2020, start date, all album releases from that date onward must adhere to the new rules, even if the bundles went on-sale before then. 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. 3, 2020, onward.

    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 changes come as bundles have been at the center of a public debate around the Billboard albums charts, with many arguing these bundled album sales do not reflect customers' true interest in purchasing the album, but, rather, the merchandise it’s packaged with. The new rules look to address that concern, by offering customers the option to purchase the merchandise with or without the album. 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.

    The sales strategy of album bundles is decades-old, but in recent years the practice has become increasingly popular as the industry tries to find new ways to sell albums -- as customers are buying fewer albums in favor of streaming their favorite new releases. Year to date in 2019 (through Nov. 21), album sales have fallen 19% compared to the same point a year ago. And, for the full year of 2018, album sales dropped by 17.7% to 141 million -- the lowest number of albums sold in a year since Nielsen Music began electronically tracking sales in 1991. Many artists have taken advantage of bundle offers, with nearly every No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart now getting a boost by a bundle. Among the artists who topped the Billboard 200 in 2019 thanks in part to bundling efforts (either via a ticket bundle or a merchandise bundle, or both): Celine Dion, Luke Combs, Kanye West, SuperM, Post Malone, Taylor Swift, Madonna, NF, Tyler, the Creator, Billie Eilish, Khalid, Jonas Brothers, Vampire Weekend, Ariana Grande, Thomas Rhett and Backstreet Boys.

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    by Fri December 13th, 2019, 20:28

    Billboard 200 to Include Official Video Plays From YouTube, Streaming Services

    Video data will also impact Billboard’s genre-specific album consumption charts, starting Jan. 3.

    Video and audio data from YouTube, along with visual plays from several music streaming services, will soon be factored into the Billboard 200 albums chart, it was announced on Friday. In addition to YouTube, officially licensed video content plays from Apple, Spotify, Tidal and Vevo will be included in the album chart's calculations.

    The inclusion of video data into the Billboard 200 arrives five years after audio streams were added, marking the chart's shift from a measure of pure sales to a consumption model. The addition of video will also impact Billboard's genre album consumption charts, such as Country, R&B/Hip-Hop, Latin and others.

    While YouTube streams have factored into the Billboard Hot 100 and other song-specific charts since February 2013, this marks a first for the album charts. In contrast with song charts, which can be impacted by user-generated videos, only official licensed video content uploaded by or on behalf of rights holders will be counted for the Billboard 200 and other albums charts.

    The changes take effect with the charts dated Jan. 18, 2020, which will reflect sales and streams for the period of Jan. 3-9.

    "As the steward of the definitive charts that uphold the industry's measurement of music consumption, our goal is to continually respond and accurately reflect the changing landscape of the music," said Billboard-The Hollywood Reporter Media Group president Deanna Brown. "Our decision to add YouTube and other video streaming data to our album charts reflects the continuing evolution of the music consumption market and the ways in which consumers connect to album-related content."

    Lyor Cohen, global head of music at YouTube, called the changes a "very important moment in making the chart a more accurate representation of what people are listening to."

    He added, "Genres like Latin, hip-hop and electronic, which consistently dominate the YouTube charts, will now be properly recognized for their popularity. This is another great step in bringing YouTube and the industry together and we're so grateful to Billboard and the music business at large for making this addition."

    The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track sales equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

    "With video representing an increasingly large proportion of music consumption on some of the world's largest platforms, the inclusion of YouTube and video overall to the Billboard 200 as well as other genre rankings is the next natural advancement for our album charts," said Silvio Pietroluongo, senior vp of charts and data development at Billboard.

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    by Fri December 13th, 2019, 20:38

    Crikey, big change that will force out pure sales artists even further - at least it's only official videos I guess...

    Good idea for a topic btw!

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    by Fri December 13th, 2019, 21:07

    If it's a stream or playlist of a full album - fine. But including actual promo videos? Nope. Enough of a distorted mess already.

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    by Fri December 13th, 2019, 23:54

    How much will this impact the charts?

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    by Yesterday, 02:01

    I cannot believe they are actually now going to count video streams for the billboard 200. Ridiculous decision for a chart already completely skewed by a popular single, which does not reflect the popularity of an album.

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    by Yesterday, 07:18

    Yes its one of the most ridiculous decisions Billboard has made and that's saying something. It's limited to official videos meaning it is singles and not albums, since you don't normally see official videos for every track. Instead of modifying the influence of singles in the albums chart like most countries are now doing they are enhancing the effect and increasing the double dipping. Of course it is all to make the music market look bigger than it really is, hence the double dipping.

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    by Yesterday, 07:21

    Quote Originally Posted by braindeadpj View Post
    Yes its one of the most ridiculous decisions Billboard has made and that's saying something. It's limited to official videos meaning it is singles and not albums, since you don't normally see official videos for every track. Instead of modifying the influence of singles in the albums chart like most countries are now doing they are enhancing the effect and increasing the double dipping. Of course it is all to make the music market look bigger than it really is, hence the double dipping.
    But it is still literally counting big singles not only once(which skews the album anyway) but twice now. It's a really stupid decision and makes zero sense.

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    by Yesterday, 07:36

    Again a moronic decision by Billboard. Increasing the double dipping effect of streaming to make the albums market look bigger than it really is. While most countries are modifying the effect of singles in their contribution to the album's charts, Billboard are going in the other direction and now including official video streams. Since artists generally don't make videos for every track, again it will overemphasize the importance of single streams. What they should do is proportional representation and de-emphasize singles not the other way round e.g. if say 1,000 people stream the whole album then it counts as one sale, but if 1,000 only stream half the album then its only half a sale. If they only stream the singles then it should only count for the hot100. Of course this would make the market look smaller (as double dipping is reduced) and not growing/expanding like they keep on saying so it won't fly....
    Last edited by braindeadpj; Yesterday at 08:07.

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    by Yesterday, 08:09

    Quote Originally Posted by InFamous View Post
    But it is still literally counting big singles not only once(which skews the album anyway) but twice now. It's a really stupid decision and makes zero sense.
    Yes exactly my point. Many other countries are reducing the influence of singles on the album chart. Billboard are compounding it!

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    by Yesterday, 08:15

    Quote Originally Posted by braindeadpj View Post
    Yes exactly my point. Many other countries are reducing the influence of singles on the album chart. Billboard are compounding it!
    Makes no sense at all. In the UK they really reduce streams of popular singles on the parent album.

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    by Yesterday, 09:07

    Quote Originally Posted by WolfSpear View Post
    How much will this impact the charts?
    https://kworb.net/youtube/insights/us.html
    weekly #1 on US youtube was 14.9m so that's about 4k with 3,750:1 ratio.
    we don't know exact ratio and what type of official videos are counted.

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    by Yesterday, 09:09

    another rule for hit single advantage for album chart. double counting.
    they should make proper "album" chart like uk occ. and make separate "era" chart for counting all that.

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    by Yesterday, 09:10

    YT isn't really that big for music videos anymore, so the impact of this might only be minimal for the most part.
    I have received many gifts from God,
    but this is the first time I have ever received a gift from a goddess
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    by Yesterday, 16:52

    Quote Originally Posted by braindeadpj View Post
    Yes its one of the most ridiculous decisions Billboard has made and that's saying something. It's limited to official videos meaning it is singles and not albums, since you don't normally see official videos for every track. Instead of modifying the influence of singles in the albums chart like most countries are now doing they are enhancing the effect and increasing the double dipping. Of course it is all to make the music market look bigger than it really is, hence the double dipping.
    Official uploads for every track are becoming more common and obviously will become more common with this change.
    You can find uploads for virtually every track in existence from the past two or three years because the labels auto-upload upon release. You can find them on the artist channel - though they don't appear in your subscriptions, you have to enter the search term. Some artists do upload every track, as well.
    Example: Taylor Swift's Lover album is there in a playlist with promos mixed in with audio uploads. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1cE...QrYJpkOmJH2Ngw
    If she can upload an entire album, everyone else can.

    I still think including promos outside of playlists should not be included, though. Don't know how they could manage that but...

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    by Yesterday, 17:05

    Next by BB: you whistle one part of a song on the street and it'll count as an album/single sale/point towards both the BB200 and the H100

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