Billboard has announced some new policies for albums and singles which will change the way they appear on the charts effective November 21st. These policies come into force after critics complained of artists adopting unfair methods for topping singles & album charts. Some of the highlights are below:
– Any album priced below $3.49 during its first 4 weeks of release will be denied entry onto the Billboard 200. Nielsen Soundscan will only be counting the sales of units sold at full price keeping those sold at a discounted price out of the picture .
– Unit sales for albums or EPs with 8 or less tracks will not be eligible for charting if the retail price is less than the sum of the tracks on the release, multiplied by $0.39.
– Minimum pricing for a multi-disc album (not a single disc with extra tracks), where the extra disc is audio content, will be $3.49 times the amount of discs being made available.
– Unit sales for Digital Tracks priced below $0.39 during their first three months of release will not be eligible for inclusion on Billboard’s digital songs charts.
Critics and industry experts called for such a change in the policy specially after Lady Gaga’s Born This Way topped the 200 chart earlier this year with 1.1 million copies out of which 450k were sold at Amazon for just 99 cents.