Last time, we talked about the introduction of SoundScan, a hyper-accurate way of counting actual album sales. But now that we’re moving away from just buying music to streaming it, what happens to the album charts?
A little voodoo, that’s what.
The industry now agrees that if tracks from any given album are streamed 1,500 times, that counts the same as the sale of one physical album. This has resulted in some interesting situations.
Earlier this year, Chance the Rapper released a record called Coloring Book—but it was only released to streaming companies. There were no physical copies or digital files to buy. But because so many people streamed it—remember, 1,500 streams equals the same as one album—the record managed to debut in the US Top 10, the first time such an album has ranked that high.
Watch for more of this sort of thing as streaming picks up.