It goes without saying that most artists, if not all, would want a no. 1 album atop of the Billboard charts. Having witnessed album campaigns that are minimal to major, in recent years we have seen marketing teams pull out all the stops to secure a no. 1 debut for their clients.
Causing competition between some artists who release in the same week, Nicki Minaj‘s Queen and Travis Scott’s ASTROWORLD serves as a very recent reminder of merchandise and bundle wars used to land the no. 1 album. With Travis Scott ultimately getting the no. 1, we can fast-forward to today as Billboard has shared they will be changing the 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.
These new rules will certainly help show which fanbases are more concerned with the music or just the eye-catching merchandise that artists are dropping. Furthermore, this shakeup will likely birth some new promotional strategies for those artists who are adamant about being no. 1.