Nielsen SoundScan will announce today (July 2) that it will begin compiling sales of permanent music downloads. SoundScan -- a sister company of Billboard.com -- will include these sales in its "non-t

Nielsen SoundScan will announce today (July 2) that it will begin compiling sales of permanent music downloads. SoundScan -- a sister company of Billboard.com -- will include these sales in its "non-traditional" category, which also includes Internet, mail-order and concert-venue sales of physical music.

Sales of downloaded singles and albums will be included in Billboard's charts for those configurations. In addition, SoundScan will offer a new download tracks chart.

Sales data initially will come from Apple's iTunes Music Store, Pressplay, MusicNet, Liquid Audio and Listen.com's Rhapsody service. Digital music that is available only via subscription will not be included.

In the past, SoundScan has occasionally included sales of downloads in the "non-traditional" category, says Rob Sisco, president of Nielsen Music and COO of Nielsen Entertainment's East Coast operations. But he says that in the last few months, the volume of download sales has increased enough "to be able to present the numbers and have them be meaningful in terms of trending and tracking information." Sisco declines to quantify download sales volume.

For the week ending June 29, the top downloaded track was "Crazy in Love" by Beyonce featuring Jay-Z. This was followed by Kelly Clarkson's "Miss Independent," Coldplay's "Clocks," matchbox twenty's "Unwell" and Clay Aiken's "This Is the Night."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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