DJ Khaled Album makes No. 1 while Billboard reviews album/merch bundle rules

Posted on June 10th, 2019
Derêka K. Bennett

It was announced via Page Six that Billboard would be reviewing album/merch bundle rules- tacking a download or CD to another purchase- and that a new policy would be expected in 2020!

Deanna Brown, the president of the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group, a division of Valence Media, says that artists and people in the music industry, “tell us week after week, month after month, that they want us to occasionally throw a flag on the field when necessary.”

In the mist of that news, there was also news that DJ Khaled had allegedly planned to sue Billboard fir cheating him out if a No. 1 album in the country. Billboard allegedly agreed to include downloads from Khaled’s energy drink bundle, which totaled over 100,000; but then they retracted on the agreement, disqualifying all of the sales from the promotion.

Khaled’s team believed this was unfair because the figures from Tyler, the Creator’s bundle deal counted in his sales total. On May 30, Billboard revealed Tyler’s album IGOR debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 165,000 albums sold, while Father of Asahd was placed at No. 2 with 137,000 sold. But as of now, DJ Khaleds album is now No. 1 so it looks like there won’t be any lawsuit coming!

According to Times, Bundles is an age-old sales gimmick in the music industry, but now it’s everywhere. Of the 39 titles that went to No. 1 last year, at least 18 were sold as part of ticket or merchandise deals. One of the most prolific bundlers has been rapper Travis Scott, who last year claimed the top spot by selling key chains, hats and access to concert tickets.

Billboard said it is still deciding how to revise its bundling rules, and has held a series of industry meetings in recent months on the matter. Many of those have involved major-label record executives, who tend to favor bundles as an essential marketing technique as well as a chart strategy, as reported by Times.

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