Indie Labels

Billboard Announces New Rules For Album/Merch Bundles

Billboard is tightening the rules on a popular strategy used to sell more music at a time when streaming has become the dominant music delivery method. Every No. 1 album on the current Billboard 200 chart has gotten a sales boost from a bundle. 

Under the new rules, all the items in a bundle must also be available for purchase concurrently and individually on the artist’s official direct to consumer site for it to be counted as a bundled album sale. No third-party site sales will be counted.

Also, the merchandise item that is part of the bundle must be sold on its own at a price lower than the full bundle. The merch/album bundle must be priced at least $3.49 higher than the merchandise item alone.

All albums released from January 3 onward must adhere to the new rules, even if the bundles went on-sale before then. Even already released albums must adhere to the new rules to have further sales counted towards the albums charts.

The top music industry trade will change how album and merchandise bundles are counted for its album charts effective Jan. 3, 2020.

The new rules do not affect concert ticket/album bundles. As it is now, after purchasing the ticket, the customer receives an offer to redeem the album via mail or download. Only redeemed albums count toward Billboard’s charts, indicating a desire by a consumer to receive it.

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