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Billboard and MRC launch two new global music charts

We’re used to reporting on the ins and outs in Billboard’s US music charts, but now the publication and data partner MRC are turning their attention to global rankings.

They’ve launched two new charts: the ‘Billboard Global 200’ and the ‘Billboard Global Excl. US’, which will collect data from more than 200 territories on “official-only streams on both subscription and ad-supported tiers of leading digital platforms, and downloads from key online music retailers”.

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘WAP’ tops the first Global 200 rankings, while Maluma’s ‘Hawái’ is number one on the chart that excludes the US.

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Billboard bars merch / ticket bundles from chart calculations

Billboard is changing its chart rules in the US to no longer count sales of albums bundled with merchandise or concert tickets.

It hasn’t yet said when the change will kick in, but when it does “all albums bundled with either merchandise or concert tickets must be promoted as an add-on to those purchases in order to be counted on the charts”.

Billboard said it thinks the change will ensure the charts “more accurately reflect the conscious purchasing decisions of consumers and level the playing field for all artists”.

There’s plenty of backstory here. In August 2018, Nicki Minaj criticised the charts after losing out to Travis Scott in a bundles-fuelled race for number one in Billboard’s albums chart (“What we’re not gonna do is have this f***ing autotune man come up in here selling f***ing sweaters and telling y’all he sold half a million f***ing albums, ’cause he didn’t!” was her memorable quote, although her album had also been bundled, with tickets rather than merch.