| 29 Nov 2023
Billboard 200 chart to reflect streaming and digital sales from December onwards

MUMBAI: In an attempt to reflect current music consumption habits, Billboard has announced it will now take into consideration digital sales and streaming music while compiling the results of its weekly top-selling 200 albums in the US. According to reports, the new chart, which will make its debut on 4 December 2014, will include data from music services like Spotify, Google Play and Beats Music.

Addressing the change, Billboard VP of charts, Silvio Pietroluongo stated that the Billboard 200 chart would now better represent music consumption in today’s times. In a statement Pietroluongo said, “Album sales would mostly capture the initial impulse only, without indicating the depth of consumption thereafter.”

There has been a steady decline in album sales, with year-to-date sales for 2014 totalling 209.5 million, which is 13 per cent lower than the same period last year. As pop music consumption has moved on from traditional album sales, it has made the Billboard 200 chart less relevant. However, by adding digital track sales and streaming data, the chart will be able to more accurately measure music consumption.

Billboard will use standard industry benchmarks to compile its results-for one album sale, it should either have 1500 song streams from the album or 10 digital track sales. The change could very well see a new set of artistes top the chart, including Ariana Grande and Maroon 5, who in recent weeks, have seen better digital song sales and streaming results as compared to their physical album sales.

However, along with the revised Top 200 chart, Billboard will also publish a complete album sales chart called Top Album Sales. It will include the traditional method the publication has used since 1991, which is compiling sales data from Nielsen SoundScan. The new methodology, however, will not be used with current genre album charts like Hip-Hop, Country, Rap, R&B etc.