SoundScan Overhauls Chart, Vinyl & Digital Sales Up
November 12, 2009

Nielsen SoundScan has announced major changes coming to the way it tabulates the weekly album sales chart. The SoundScan/Billboard 200 will now include catalog releases in the official chart alongside new albums. The chart had previously only listed releases from the previous 18 months, with older releases moved to a seperate chart. However, with this year's massive sales figures for Michael Jackson and Beatles albums, their numbers were missing from the official weekly charts.

Reuters reports that the changes go into effect for the sales week ending November 22, making the November 25 sales chart the first as a "comprehensive" chart. Jackson is the second-biggest selling artist of 2009, after Taylor Swift, and his best-of set Number Ones was the best-selling album in the country for six weeks earlier this year, though it wasn't reflected on the official chart.

In other Nielsen SoundScan news, the company has released new data on vinyl and digital music sales in 2009. For the SoundScan era, vinyl sales have set a new high point, with over two million vinyl records already sold this year. This breaks last year's record of 1.9 million.

As for digital music, four artists have broken Rihanna's digital tracks sales record (she sold 9.9 million digital songs in '08) already. So far, 11.3 million digital Michael Jackson songs have been sold, 11.1 million Lady Gaga songs have been sold this year, with 10.3 million Black Eyed Peas tunes and 9.98 million Taylor Swift songs.

Nielsen SoundScan reports that next week, the 2008 year-end digital album sales total of 65 million will be broken, as well as the one
billion track sales mark.

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Jon Zellner
EVP/Programming Operations

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