Billboard Announce New Rules For Music-Merchandise Bundling To Combat Controversy

Published: Tuesday 26th Nov 2019 by Sam

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.

Full story below…

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…

Your thoughts?

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  1. Clarksooon November 26, 2019

    Flops will stop topping the charts.

    we would finally know who the real album sellers are.

  2. only facts November 26, 2019

    Camila is lucky she’s releasing her album next week and not after January 3rd. That’s all I have to say..

    Sip that.

    • only facts November 26, 2019

      Actually per ticketmaster, nobody is buying tickets for Camila’s tour so this doesn’t impact her lol.

      • King z November 26, 2019

        Sis learn to read

        It’s not TICKET bundling that’s being impacted by this rule, it’s MERCHANDISE bundling

        Two diff things

      • Clarksooon November 26, 2019

        Gurl ur scared Camila second album gonna hit number one, u can’t make up ur mind.

        How many times have u been wrong
        U want me to bring out the receipts

        U still haven’t answered my question, u said Taylor doesnt like Camila anymore, u said Taylor was done with her, u said nobody likes Camila, so why did Taylor bring out Camila and halsey to perform shake it off at the AMA awards? Lol

        Ur a liar, how are u gonna twist this? Camila is using Taylor for relevance?
        It was not Camila on stage with Taylor, it was anita or rosalia?

      • only facts November 26, 2019

        Pretty sure that h** is selling her album with shirts. But regardless, I wish her well.

      • Clarksooon November 26, 2019

        @king a

        Educate the fool, it cant read.
        Always full of hatred.
        Always spreading fake news about Camila cause ur jealous of her success.

      • Normani. November 26, 2019

        kingz your out of place boo. they sale merch (bundles) at the venue. what only facts is saying is if nobody’s there (buying tickets) per what ticketmaster is reporting, its redundant lol.

  3. ? The Real Jasmine’s Grape Juice ?? November 26, 2019

    Yes ma’am they are finally listening to the Queen ? Nicki Minaj told them this last year about Travis Scott and y’all act like she was retarded for speaking the Truth, now y’all want to switch rules Give the Queen ? her number 1 Record. Nicki Minaj is a Prophetess

  4. Just Sayin’ November 26, 2019

    Nicki u better hurry up and release ur trash album before these new rules take efdect cause we know u aint sell s*** without boundles.

    • ? The Real Jasmine’s Grape Juice ?? November 26, 2019

      U really are obsessed with the Queen ? give this sluuttt a ticket ? she’s a FAN

    • FAF November 26, 2019

      Nicki could flop and still be the highest selling female rapper no one else will ever have 104 entries and a #1 in 6 genres f*** the hot 100

  5. Nicky November 26, 2019


    What’s the point of a ticket bundle when no one is barely buying tickets.

    No sell outs.

    3 performances on AMA , huge exposure, SNL, playlists, big budgets, videos and NOT one sold out date.

    We love to see it. ?????????

    • Normani. November 26, 2019


  6. Nicky November 26, 2019

    Camicky thinks she’s fooling the public by saying Seniorita is lead single ?????

    Sorry. It’s Shawns released on Island

    Sweetie your lead single tanked.

    Imagine Normani retroactively saying Love Lies is her lead single ???????

    She has something called integrity. They hate to see it ????????

    • Clarksooon November 26, 2019

      Ur worried Camila gonna hit number one on the album charts.

      U are afraid and threatened that Camila will hit number one again with her second album.

      Camila got these haters scared.
      Album hasn’t dropped and they are already tearing the album apart. Lol

      Ur afraid of Camila power.

      Sunflower was the lead single on the spider man soundtrack but post malone still added it in his album Hollywood bleeding , not as a bonus or deluxe track, as a main track on his album.
      Billboard allowed it

      Monica didnt even write the boy is mine but this bìtch named her album the boy is mine and that song on it

      Camila wrote seniorita. She sang more parts in that song than shawn Mendes. Seniorita is Camila culture not shawn. Camila is latino who speaks spanish shawn is a white boy from Canada

      If normani wants to add love lies and dancing with the stranger on her album, good for her, even tho thoses songs wont fit together on an album. One is rnb , one is dance.

      And both songs are old, neither did any of those songs hit number one. Love lies peaked at number 10, DWAS peaked at number 8.

      • Normani. November 26, 2019

        I feel like she’s release about 8 songs so far, but yet you are still this damn excited about the full album release? I’m trying to figure out why when you have heard almost every song right???

  7. Nicky November 26, 2019

    Love Lies is now 4X platinum

    Co Written by Normani


    They hate to see it.

    A smash hit without an album. We love to see it


    • Clarksooon November 26, 2019

      Stop embarrassing ur self and ur faves.

      Love lies was not on any Khalid album.

      Love lies peaked at number 10
      It had a remix with Rick ross

      Camila never be the same outpeaked love lies and dancing with a stranger.

      Normani is not gonna happen.
      U cant cry and mourn but everybody has started to realise she’s not gonna happen.

      When Camila sell out her arena tour , dont deny ur previous comment were u said she wasnt gonna sell out the tour. I keep receipts

      • Normani. November 26, 2019

        LL peaked at 7. yes it was TOP ten, and still 4x platinum.

      • Clarksooon November 26, 2019

        “It has so far reached a peak of number nine. ”

        Bìtch dont tell lies

        Love lies peaked at number 9.
        Go to and confirm.

        Stop lying about ur faves stats, normani a flop

      • Normani. November 26, 2019

        you said it peaked at number 10 so try keep up with your lies love ;). im glad you took the time to research. i mixed it up with Dancing With a Stranger my bad. lol

  8. Meme November 26, 2019

    I mean it’s f-ing stupid. Like who idea was it to increase give aways in sales calculations from the jump? Giving away a cd because a fan buys a sweatshirt is not selling a record.

  9. Adonis November 26, 2019

    Poor Nicki what will she do without bundles?? 🙁

    • November 26, 2019

      you clearly need mental help.

      • Adonis November 26, 2019

        Clearly. ?

  10. Normani. November 26, 2019

    i’ll just say this… if the copies are not SOLD. they prolly shouldnt count at all but your favs depend on streaming so… billboard has bigger fish to fry. the RIAA is not playing with them or these artist. they went wrong putting the sales/streams together. i feel as though if the song/album is STREAMED a certain amount of times , then thats wtf it should be. A STREAM. if you SOLD A CERTAIN AMOUNT RECORDS, it should count as an actual sale. there are seperate playing fields. it will never make since.

    • S.U.P.E.R.S.T.A.R.!. November 27, 2019

      @Normani – I agree.

  11. ? November 26, 2019

    Madonna and Celine wouldn’t have had their recent #1 albums without it


  12. Selene November 26, 2019

    U think so? First of all when u get a cd as part of a bundle u need to claim it otherwise none will send u anything. Plus Celine has alone in USA 70 almost sold out dates across the country… make some maths… if every arena has 10.000 seats (many have much more!) × 70 that would be already 700.000 copies… she sold 113.000. She would have a first week sales of almost million copies if it was by ur logic… plus shes #1 worldwide as well with 254.000 copies sold… not bad after 35 year career… and very little promo…

  13. HBF82 November 28, 2019

    Goodbye to Celine and Madonna sales

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