Video and audio data from YouTube, along with visual plays from several music streaming services, will soon be factored into the Billboard 200 albums chart, it was announced on Friday. In addition to YouTube, officially licensed video content plays from Apple, Spotify, Tidal and Vevo will be included in the album chart’s calculations.
The inclusion of video data into the Billboard 200 arrives five years after audio streams were added, marking the chart’s shift from a measure of pure sales to a consumption model. The addition of video will also impact Billboard’s genre album consumption charts, such as Country, R&B/Hip-Hop, Latin and others.
Colin Stutz, writing at Billboard:
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.
Ed Christman, writing at Billboard:
The long road to copyright revision is nearing its end as the U.S. Senate passed the Music Modernization Act by unanimous consent Tuesday (Sept. 18). The move mimics the House’s unilateral support, previously passing the bill by a vote of 415-0 back in April.
With the Senate’s move, the legislation has been renamed the Orrin G. Hatch Music Modernization Act in honor of the Republican senior senator from Utah — a songwriter himself — who will retire at the end of his term this year.
Beginning in 2018, plays occurring on paid subscription-based services (such as Amazon Music and Apple Music) or on the paid subscription tiers of hybrid paid/ad-supported platforms (such as SoundCloud and Spotify) will be given more weight in chart calculations than those plays on pure ad-supported services (such as YouTube) or on the non-paid tiers of hybrid paid/ad-supported services.
Billboard have announced their 2017 music award nominations:
Drake and The Chainsmokers lead the pack with 22 nods. Among those, Drake will compete for Top Artist, Top Male Artist and Top Billboard 200 Artist. The Chainsmokers will also vie for Top Artist, as well as Top Duo/Group and Top 100 Artist.
Twenty One Pilots follows with 17 nominations, then Rihanna with 14, The Weeknd with 13 and Beyonce with 8.
U.S. recorded music sales were up 11.4 percent in 2016. The industry brought in $7.65 billion in revenue, according to the RIAA, up from $6.87 million in 2015. Although the music business showed signs of a recovery at the half-year mark, the 2016 year-end results show more significant growth, led by streaming revenue.
Paid subscriptions are finally taking off in a real way.
A step below Sheeran on the new Billboard 200 is Metallica’s Hardwired… To Self-Destruct, which holds at No. 2 with 102,000 units (up 25 percent) and 100,000 in traditional album sales (up 26 percent). The set continues to profit largely from a concert ticket/album bundle sale redemption promotion with the act’s stadium tour that went on sale on Feb. 17.
David Brooks, writing for Billboard:
At least seven artists hoping to play the annual South by Southwest music festival have been turned away at the U.S. border amid confusion over the type of visa needed to enter the country.
At issue is whether artists can perform at free showcase events like South by Southwest on a B-1 visitor visa, typically issued to tourists who aren’t legally allowed to work during their visit to the U.S. Most artists who enter the country for a tour do so on a performance visa (also known as P-1), but artists performing for free at showcase events like South by Southwest have used B-1 visitor visas in the past to enter the U.S.
Billboard has announced they will start adding in Pandora streaming data to their song charts:
Billboard and Pandora today (Jan. 30) announced an exclusive agreement that will add influential Pandora streaming data to the Billboard Hot 100, the world’s preeminent songs chart. The Hot 100 ranks the week’s most popular songs across all genres, determined by a formula blending track sales, radio airplay and streaming, as measured by Nielsen Music, now along with Pandora’s exclusive streaming data, as well.
A likely scenario would see a TV commercial air during the Grammy broadcast following the tribute, which would announce that certain songs are immediately available on Spotify, Apple Music and possibly other services. The source tells Billboard that publishers, performing rights organizations and at least one label have been alerted to an impending deal.
The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group has purchased SpinMedia’s Spin, Vibe, and Stereogum websites:
“In recent years, we set out to own the topic of music online, and the acquisition of these incredible music assets helps us do just that,” said Media Group co-president John Amato. “By making these storied brands part of our family, The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group will be able to fully capture the value of millennials and music, and continue to strengthen its leadership position in this critical arena.”
Best of luck capturing all that “millennial value.”