This is huge!

The first change in over 20 years for the Billboard 200 is happening next week…

Starting next week, the Billboard 200 will include streams and downloads of single tracks from an album. Ten downloads from a service like iTunes or 1,500 streams on a subscription service like Spotify by will equal the sale of one whole album (industry standard).

The last change to the Billboard 200 was in 1991, when album sales were actually counted instead of just estimated.

The shift from album sales to song sales has been slow but sure. Options like iTunes and Amazon revolutionized the way we buy music. Individual songs matter. Suddenly, consumers weren’t stuck buying a whole album for just one song. It changed the way albums were constructed in studios. Every song on every album mattered. Every album had to be treated like a “greatest hits” record. (Corbett Barr calls this “Writing Epic $#!+”) It’s not a bad thing. The bar was just raised a little higher.

Every song matters, and now the Billboard 200 will be a better reflection of that idea.

Billboard VP of Charts Silvio Pietroluongo said:

 The chart seems to be benefiting artists that have many hits from an album. [The new chart] could also benefit the new artist, where someone might not be ready to buy the album, but are buying the track and streaming that track or streaming multiple cuts from the album.

What do you think?

Will this change anything for listeners? What about new artists?

Check out the whole interview with Pietroluongo here. 

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