Blog posts can triple future album sales, according to a new study from researchers at New York University.

NYU Stern professor Vasant Dhar and former student Elaine Chang sampled 108 albums released between January and March of 2007 to determine the impact of blog chatter on record sales. Using Amazon.com sales rankings, albums were tracked four weeks before and four weeks after release.

Researchers found that when an album got mention in more than 40 legitimate blog posts, sales were three times the average. If those albums were associated with major labels, sales jumped five times the average. Albums that got more than 250 blog mentions saw sales increases of six times the average.

The number of MySpace friends the artist had also improved album sales, but researchers said there was a weaker correlation than with blog chatter.

The full report "Does Chatter Matter" is available online.