Major! Billboard Announce No More Merch & Ticket Bundles

Published: Tuesday 14th Jul 2020 by Sam

Billboard have announced a huge overhaul of their rules in direct response to the popularized practice of bundling albums and singles with merchandise and concert tickets.

Initially permitted as a means of recognizing the change in how the public consume music, the rules have been bent in earnest by several artists looking to maintain commercial viability. Often to extremes that have been critiqued en masse.

And Billboard has had enough.

Today, the industry bible has published updates to their rulebook designed to “more accurately reflect consumer choice” and to “level the playing field for all artists.”

Billboard done so to counter what it effectively says has been exploitative efforts used to benefit sales – given that traditional units still carry more chart weight than industry-leading streaming formats.

Full details on the changes below…

Per the new rules:

All Album
Merch & Ticket Bundles
Must Be Promoted As “Add-Ons”

In order to be counted on the charts, albums must be specifically billed as an add-on at point of purchase of concert or merch.

Albums included as part of an all-encompassing, single-price option (along with the merchandise or ticket), with the cost of the album undisclosed to the consumer, will no longer be counted.

Physical Edition Of Albums / Singles MUST
Be Available To Ship At Time Of Ticket/Merch Purchase To Count On The Charts

Billboard will no longer allow sales of physical albums or singles that are bundled with digital downloads to be reported as digital sales, thereby eliminating the practice of “spontaneous” non-manufactured items being used to influence first-week chart rankings. Only when the physical item — ostensibly what the consumer is buying — is shipped, will it be counted in Billboard’s official tallies.

This is specifically being implemented to do away with the widespread practice of selling vinyl, CDs and other physical releases that won’t be manufactured and shipped to consumers for weeks or months — while offering a digital download that can be redeemed instantly– with both counting to the first week sales. The latest rule changes will render that tactic ineffectual.

Note: Billboard specifically list 6ix9ine, Justin Bieber, and Ariana Grande as acts who’ve “used the tactic to boost their chart positions.”


Suffice to say, this will no doubt shake the industry up in a significant way.

Bundling has been the source of much controversy, as such it will be interesting to see how it affects the charts (and certain artists) moving forward.

In there here and now, what are…

Your thoughts?

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  1. TheTea July 14, 2020


  2. tyty July 14, 2020

    Lol billboard were pissed 69 got that number 1 they’re ready to finish him completely.

  3. chilepleaseee July 14, 2020

    We don’t care no more. Billboard can’t regain its credibility now.

  4. Only Facts July 14, 2020

    Good luck getting another number 1 nicki, 69, or Camila 🤣🤣

    • HavanaONana July 14, 2020

      U are undercover Camila Cabello fan so stop being a drama queen

  5. Only Facts July 14, 2020

    And Ariana, good luck because you’re the face of this mess too

  6. WRTW? July 14, 2020

    But when Nicki complained about Travis Scott doing this she was a sore loser.

    • Clarks0o0ñ July 14, 2020

      But nicki did the same also, not once but twice

      • WRTW? July 14, 2020

        Nicki beat them at their own game, and then they changed the rules to shut her out again. But it won’t happen. Go back to the articles where Nicki spoke on how unfair this was, as well as fighting for streaming numbers to count. I’m glad Nicki got her two number ones before the changed it. Because a true bad b**** ain’t weak or bitter.

    • Lolhah July 14, 2020

      She was dragged up and down the streets for pointing it out. Do when she decided to play the same tactic Billboard reacts. They are no longer credible, should done this from the get go.

      • my+name July 14, 2020

        y’all and this make believe ni

      • my+name July 14, 2020

        y’all and this make believe nikki hate train.
        y’all don’t have any credibility
        only on TGJ

  7. Pat July 14, 2020

    Should’ve never been allowed for singles. Either u can sell a 99 cent single or I can’t

  8. Nicky July 14, 2020


    Billboard should also recount Camickys bundled sales for a canceled tour.

    Camicky has taken another L for 2020

    Bathroom Concert was probably the lowest one can go

    Even flop PCD rescheduled


  9. Dc July 14, 2020

    Why they didn’t do this before 69 he wouldn’t have had that number 1

    • Urg July 14, 2020

      Rat9 beat Billboatd at their own game now they back peddling. Billboard credibility when down the drain when they started that bundling mess.

  10. Rashad July 14, 2020

    And streaming needs to be adjusted too. So many forgettable trash hip hop songs debut at number 1 then disappear by week 2.

  11. HavanaONana July 14, 2020

    Sorry Normani u cannot count pants and bras or t shirts in your upcoming EP or album to cheat your way. Also, they need to do something with streaming. Especially Tidal.

  12. menudi July 14, 2020

    Yea ya’ll should have done this before that Trollz nonsense went to number one. and has now disappeared from anywhere near the top two weeks after

  13. BooHoo July 14, 2020

    Everyone coming for 69 as if he is the only one to use bundles to get to the top. They all were doing that shat. Look and that country guy who did it only to cancel the tour after. Gaga did it so did Taylor and Camilla. All the artist abused that Bundelling shat. Billboard just trying to save face after they f*cked up the charts.

  14. eric July 14, 2020

    I agree that they need to look at streaming again, mainly in how they equate single sales/streams to album sales.

  15. Beam Me Up Scotty July 14, 2020

    Many artists have taken advantage of this. They need to review radio play next because of payola. Nicki probably would’ve gotten another #1 album had it it not been for the bundles/merchandise Travis was offering.

    • Justmeeeee July 14, 2020


  16. July 14, 2020

    Why is Nicki the face of this, when others been doing it for years and the one time she does it yall want to make her the face of it. this is so messed up anyways her fans ar from an era of actually going out and buying Cds and music of iTunes and so on they know how to. so she will be fine.

  17. July 14, 2020

    This goes to show how much the industry is against Nicki and yet still she is still finding a way to win, against people who have the industry 100% behind them.

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