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Billboard to Alter Chart Tracking Week for Global Release Date
As album releases shift to Fridays beginning July 10, Billboard's chart tracking week will change accordingly, along with chart and story postings on Billboard.com.
In response to the IFPI's global release date announcement, Billboard and Nielsen Music will adjust the tracking weeks for most Billboard charts. Concurrently, Billboard's rankings, including the Billboard 200 and Billboard Hot 100, and associated analytical stories, will shift their posting dates on Billboard.com.
Starting July 10, the official street date for all new album releases will be Friday (instead of the current Tuesday) in the United States. For all sales-based charts (ranking both albums and tracks), Billboard and Nielsen will change the chart reporting period to cover the first seven days of an album's release. This will result in an adjusted sales period of Friday to Thursday, as opposed to the Monday to Sunday cycle that has been utilized since the advent of Nielsen Music's point-of-sales tracking in 1991.
Streaming services will now also be tracked from Friday to Thursday for the charts that incorporate that data.
(The final charts utilizing sales data from a Monday to Sunday cycle (June 29 through July 5) will post on Billboard.com on Thursday, July 9, and will be dated July 18. To account for sales in the in-between days during the transition week to a Friday to Thursday schedule, Nielsen Music will process data incorporating an 11-day cycle [Monday, June 29, through Thursday, July 9]. That 11-day period will inform the Billboard charts that will post on Billboard.com on Tuesday, July 14, and be dated July 25. The pure sales data from the 11-day stretch will be the only data stored historically when accounting for all-time sales according to Nielsen Music; thus, there will be no double-counting, per se, of sales in Nielsen Music's tracking system for this period in its archived database.)
Here's a more detailed look at what elements will shift, both for industry insiders and chart-watchers worldwide alike.
BILLBOARD 200 & ALL SALES, STREAMING CHARTS
All surveys ranking album sales, digital song sales and streams will run on a Friday to Thursday cycle. That covers the all-format Billboard 200 and Top Albums Sales album charts, genre-based album charts, Digital Songs and genre-based download charts and Streaming Songs and genre-focused streaming surveys.
BILLBOARD HOT 100 & GENRE HYBRID SONGS, AIRPLAY CHARTS
All radio charts, including the all-format Radio Songs chart and genre tallies, will run on a Monday to Sunday cycle. Notably, Radio Songs, which informs the Hot 100, will synch up to that Monday to Sunday period after formerly encompassing each Wednesday to Tuesday.
The Hot 100 and all other "Hot"-monikered genre songs charts (for country, R&B/Hip-Hop, R&B, Rap, rock, dance, Latin, Christian and gospel) utilizing the Hot 100's sales/streaming/airplay hybrid formula will now incorporate the following tracking schedule for their components:
SALES: Friday to Thursday
STREAMS: Friday to Thursday
AIRPLAY: Monday to Sunday
Why is airplay on its own cycle apart from sales and streaming? Monitored radio data from Nielsen Music is readily available on a real-time basis, as opposed to sales and streaming data, which filters in from numerous data providers over multiple days. So, by incorporating the latest available airplay data, the Hot 100 will remain as up-to-date as possible each week.
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND TIMING OF NEW WEEKLY CHARTS
What does all this mean for Billboard.com readers?
The shift in the sales tracking week related to the new global release date will result in adjustments to when our charts, and charts-based editorial content, will be finalized and presented on Billboard.com. All charts will be refreshed each Tuesday morning on Billboard.com starting July 14 (as opposed to the current Thursday). As has historically been the case, Billboard's charts are post-dated to the second Saturday following online posting (now 11 days later). So, charts that go live on Tuesday, July 14, will be dated July 25.
Leading up to that weekly Tuesday charts reveal, you can look forward to Keith Caulfield's Billboard 200 coverage on Billboard.com, which will include a projected top 10 albums chart story on Friday evenings, followed by a finalized top 10 review on Saturday once Nielsen Music has concluded its processing. Gary Trust, meanwhile, will run down the Hot 100's top 10 (and more) each Monday afternoon, complemented by our exclusive YouTube video countdown of the week's biggest hits. And, you'll be able to find out the Hot 100's top 10 moments before Trust's Billboard.com posting by catching William Gruger and Emily White's preview on Periscope. (Check @billboard on Twitter each Monday, starting July 13, for exact details on when they'll broadcast.)
In all, the changes above reflect Billboard's continued adaptability to changes in the music and entertainment industry, a hallmark of Billboard's commitment to the highest quality of reporting that's defined the brand for more than 120 years.