Billboard Bundle Rules Are Changing in 2020 – This is What You Need To Know
Selling your album or EP as part of a “bundle” has been a great strategy for getting onto Billboard. Bundles can be sold either at your own merch booth or on your website, but Billboard Bundle Rules are changing, These rule changes are making it more difficult to pad your sales and streams with additional soundscan sales. In this video we walk you through each of the five rule changes and talk about why these changes have been made. We’ll provide more thoughts on these changes in the weeks to come. Stay tuned!
Here is a quick list of the five rule changes:
- All merchandise in the bundle must be available for purchase on the artist’s official website individually
- This prevents the artist from selling “exclusive” merchandise bundled with a CD or digital download. Now, fans can acquire exclusive items without purchasing the bundled album with them.
- Each merchandise item must be priced individually less than the bundle
- This prevents the artist from selling the bundle for less than the individual item, giving the fan a lower priced way to acquire the exclusive item along with the unwanted album
- Bundle must be sold for at least $3.49 more than the merchandise inside the bundle
- This sets a minimum value for the album when sold in the bundle, to ensure the fan wishes to acquire the album
- Bundles can only sell from the artist’s official direct-to-consumer webstore
- This prevents the artist from bundling their album with tickets sold through a third party seller like a Ticketmaster
- Sales count upon shipping (physical) or redemption (digital)
- This ensures the digital download is wanted by the fan and disincentivizes bundling the digital downloads with merchandise incessantly
All of the effects of these rule changes remain to be seen. But on initial glance, this could be good for independent artists trying to compete with more organized record labels. It provides independent artists with a real fanbase a more level playing field to compete for Billboard positions.
However, this will almost definitely have a detrimental impact on the influence of physical and digital sales on the Billboard charts, increasing the proportional impact of streams. Bundles will still be a great way to excite fans and record physical and digital album sales, but these new rules definitely impact their influence on the Billboard charts.