Bundling is a process used by many artists in order to sour towards the top of Billboard‘s. This comes from selling merchandise along with a download of an album in order to boost sales numbers. Recently, however, the influential music media brand announced that they’ll be changing how things are done.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Billboard will put their new rules into affect on January 3, 2020. In order to qualify, an artist’s merchandise/album bundle must now cost at least $3.49 more than the merchandise because $3.49 is the minimum price of an album to qualify. This means a $40 piece of clothing (with a download) must now cost $43.49 in order to count as an album sale for the charts. Additionally, bundled items must “be available for purchase concurrently and individually on the same website.”
Merchandise/album bundles can be sold only through “an artist’s official direct-to-consumer web store and not through third-party sites.”
Under these circumstances, artists can still bundle concert tickets with albums, but “only the albums that are redeemed count toward Billboard’s charts, indicating a desire by a consumer to receive the album.”