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Streams to be added to Billboard 200 album chart calculations

First published on www.latimes.com

 

at’s being described as the most significant change in more than two decades to the way Billboard magazine calculates its album chart positions is set to kick in next week: For the first time, digital streams are to be factored in with the retail sales on which the chart has always been based.

As consumers move in greater numbers to streaming music rather than buying it, Billboard and the Nielsen SoundScan sales monitoring service that gathers the data on which the charts are based are to recognize that shift in determining chart positions. Under the new plan, 1,500 streams of any song will be treated as the equivalent of one album sold, and counted toward that album’s position on the weekly Billboard 200 album ranking.

 

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