Billboard are holding true to their promise of overhauling the protocol attached to bundling music with merchandise.
With the marketplace rapidly evolving, artists and their teams have been tasked with finding innovative ways of getting music to the masses – and maximising profits.
Pairing music with merchandise has emerged as one means of achieving this, yet it hasn’t been without controversy. Most notably with Travis Scott‘s triumph over Nicki Minaj‘s ‘Queen’ thanks to sweater sales and DJ Khaled‘s outrage over a planned energy drink deal that was ultimately disallowed – thus denying him a #1.
These instances and countless others have caused for ample debate. Some have embraced merch bundles as simply reflecting the a shapeshifting marketplace; others (a la Minaj) have deemed it cheating.
To quell the flames, today has seen Billboard detail the changes that’ll come into play at the very start of 2020.
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From January 3rd, here’s what’ll change:
“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.” [Source]
Interestingly, these rules will apply to any album already up for pre-order now that has its release set for anytime after Jan 3rd.
As at now, the incoming changes will not impact the album-ticket bundle system that’s in place; a system that, after a few tweaks of its own, now only sees manually redeemed copies of LPs counted towards the project’s first week tally.
With the alteration of the merch-music rules, will this result in a fairer play? What are…