Friday 18 November 2011, 10:53 | By

Billboard changes chart rules on cheapo albums

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Billboard

Billboard has changed its chart rules so that heavily discounted albums will no longer be counted. The move follows the big Amazon promotion earlier this year where the new Lady Gaga long player was sold to American customers for a mere 99 cents, helping the pop star to exceed a million units in first week on sale. Amazon (busy promoting its digital locker service) took the hit with Team Gaga and her label receiving the usual wholesale price for the digital release.

It ensured the Gaga lots of attention on the week of her album release, though some criticised the cost cutting approach, while others questioned if the discounted sales should qualify in terms of chart position. US chart bosses at Billboard were initially reluctant to comment on Gaga’s dealings with Amazon, though have now introduced a new rule – albeit without mentioning the Lady – that seemingly means that in the future heavily discounted album sales will not be counted.

American chart chiefs said this week: “Unit sales for albums priced below $3.49 during their first four weeks of release will not be eligible for inclusion on the Billboard album charts and will not count towards sales data presented by Nielsen SoundScan. The rule also applies to reissued titles”.

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