Billboard has announced that it will tweak the rules for the Billboard 200 and Hot 100 charts this fall.
Of the changes that are set to take place, the most notable tweak involves how merchandise bundles are counted. Under current rules, merchandise bundles are counted regardless of how they are sold. Moving forward, artists must explicitly mark album and song add-ons when bundling them with merchandise. In addition, physical albums and singles that are bundled with digital downloads will no longer be counted towards digital 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,” Billboard writes.
“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,” the company adds.
The changes are expected to go into effect this October.