After much thought and consultation with the industry, Billboard has decided to implement a new charting policy. Effective with the sales tracking week of November 21 through the 27th, which coincides with the Billboard charts dated December 10, any album that sells for less than $3.49 during the first four weeks of release will not count on our charts. Similarly, any track that sells for less than $0.39 during its first three months of release won't count on our singles charts. If you're interested, you can see the full new policy here.
Billboard has been innovating its chart policies for more than 50 years, from the days when the 45 was the only currency that mattered, through 8 tracks, cassettes, DVDs and digital tracks. And we'll continue to innovate for decades to come. Whether you work with or are a fan of Madonna or Kenny Chesney, Lady Gaga or Coldplay, it is your faith in our efforts to keep our charts credible that we work to honor every day. We are very proud that Web traffic to our most popular charts on Billboard.com has more than quadrupled since our relaunch in the summer of 2009.
As with any policy change, we here at Billboard considered this matter from all angles. Some of you may recall that just a few months ago, I offered up a note explaining why we were, in fact, counting Lady Gaga's album on our charts, even though it was selling for only 99 cents.