Billboard will begin to count YouTube streams when calculating album sales on January 3rd 2020. YouTube streams will be counted in the same way that Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal streams are counted. 1,250 clicks from paying users will constitute an album sale. Meanwhile, 3,750 clicks from non-paying users are required for one album sale.
This change comes just weeks after Billboard announced it would change the way that bundles are counted when calculating album sales. In a press release, the music media outlet stated, “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.”
They continued, “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.”
This change could have a positive impact on artists like NBA Youngboy who have notably dominated the YouTube Music charts in recent memory. We’ll see how this impacts other artists in the coming year as major artists like Drake, Rihanna and Kanye West are expected to drop new projects.