There has been heavy speculation surrounding the weight of merchandise and ticket bundles when it comes to record sales and success on the album charts and Billboard is now making significant changes. Nicki Minaj even spoke out her frustrations with the merch + sales deals back when she first dropped ‘Queen’ and Travis Scott grabbed the #1 spot instead.
Billboard just issued an announcement on their website revealing that they will “eliminate the practice of counting albums bundled with merchandise and concert tickets on its album and song charts altogether.”
This rule will be enforced in the fall. Merch and concert ticket sales that include albums will no longer be included on the charts unless it’s an add-on option.
Billboard even pointed out a recent scandal surrounding 6ix9ine’s “GOOBA” where he called out Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber for using bundles to take the #1 spot on the Hot 100 chart last minute. They pointed out that all three artists have used this method to boost their sales.
“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,” their website reads.
They did say that they will still measure the sales of merch, though it will be reflected on charts like the Artist 100.