Billboard to Change Chart Tracking Week to Coincide With Global Release Date
In an attempt to evolve with the ever-changing music industry, Billboard and Nielsen Music will officially change their tracking week in order to coincide with the new global release date recently set by the IFPI.
New Music Fridays is set to begin on July 10, which means new releases will now debut around the world on the same day. New albums will come out on Fridays now, a difference of three days from the current US model that sees most albums hitting shelves on Tuesdays. Neilsen and Billboard’s charts will follow suit to reflect a new sales period of Friday to Thursday, instead of the current Monday-to-Sunday period that was first implemented with the start of Nielsen’s SoundScan tracking back in 1991.
Streaming services are also affected by the change, as they'll face the same sales tracking period of Friday to Thursday as digital and retail sales, in order for streams to count toward official chart positions. According to Billboard, the last charts to take data from the current Monday-to-Sunday sales cycle will be posted online on July 9. As soon as the official global release date kicks off on July 10, they'll switch over to the new sales period.
It's a move that makes sense for both Billboard and Nielsen Music. When the Nielsen SoundScan system was first implemented 14 years ago, digital sales were nonexistent. Rather than wait a few months to buy an album, fans can now download music (albeit illegally) already available in another country. Setting a single date for music release could possibly deter illegal downloading, giving music sales a much needed boost.
In any case, adapting to a music climate that will only continue to change as technology and consumption does is a smart move.
You can get the full details of the change over at Billboard.