What are the Existing Policies & 2022 Updates?

What are the Existing Policies & 2022 Updates?

Merchandise and Ticket / Album Bundles:

Album sales cannot be reported if bundled with merchandise or ticket to an artist event/concert – even if album and merchandise or ticket are available a la carte.

Merchandise is essentially anything that is not the album itself, including (but not limited to) clothing, paper goods, accessories, virtual items, concert pre-sale codes, access to merchandise or meet-n-greet opportunities, contest entries (with or without No Purchase Necessary entrance options), fan club access, and so forth. 

Physical format albums sold within a finished goods boxed set/package, that may contain clearly artist/album-branded merchandise items), can continue to count as a sale as normal, following advance approval.

 

Adding an Album to a Purchase: 

An album can be promoted as an add-on sale to a merchandise item or ticket – not baked-in to merchandise or ticket. Customer would make clear choice to purchase an album on its own, as a separate item, and album purchase must not yield any benefits or discounts to customer (this includes an album purchase yielding a discount on another album). Album price must be no lower than $3.49.

 

Incentivizing Music Purchases: 

There can be no contesting or incentives to the consumer to buy music in return for  — or a chance to win access to — goods or experiences (whether virtual or actual), benefits or discounts of any kind. For the sake of clarity, the purchase of a music product (album, single, song/track, etc.) cannot yield a discount on the purchase of another music product.

 

Boxed Sets:

A physical format album (CD, vinyl LP, cassette, etc.) sold within a finished goods boxed set/boxed package (a package manufactured as a pre-set box, together with clearly artist/album-branded merchandise items, not a pre-pack of loose goods) can continue to count as a sale as normal, following advance approval from Luminate / Billboard. (Artist/album-branded merchandise allowances will not change from currently allowable branding elements.)

 

The boxed package must have its own unique UPC code separate from any other version of the album and must be submitted for pre-approval to Billboard and Luminate by the label or retailer at least four weeks in advance of the street date/release date of the package. Boxed package sales are reported to Luminate upon shipment of the physical package to the customer, or sale to the customer at the point-of-purchase if in a brick-and-mortar environment. If a digital download is included with the purchase, that is not the reportable album format. If multiple physical formats of the same album are contained within a boxed package, the sale of the box only counts as one album sale. For further details on boxed set approval process, contact Luminate and Billboard.

 

In-Store Experiences / Meet-and-Greets, etc.:

Sales of an album at an event at a brick-and-mortar retailer store (a traditional physical store operated by an active, recurring traditional music-based Luminate-reporting retailer, not an event space or pop-up store the retailer is supporting) administered by the same active Luminate retailer that runs the store -- which may involve an in-person autograph signing, photo opportunity, performance or some other in-person artist-related experience – including where the album purchase is the means of accessing the event, are allowable. Albums must be distributed on-site, and sales are reported as traditional sales by the Luminate-reporting retailer.

 

Physical/Digital Music Bundles:

Albums:

        Multiple formats of the same album can be bundled together (CD + Vinyl LP, CD + Digital Album, etc.).

         However, only one sale from each bundle is reportable.

         In a Physical + Digital Album combination, ONLY the physical sale is the reportable sale, when it is fulfilled to the customer. If there are more than one physical formats in a bundle, with a digital album, the first physical configuration in the bundle that is fulfilled to the customer will be the reported sale and configuration.

         When two (or more) Physical Albums are part of the purchase (CD + Vinyl, for example), and no Digital Album, the first physical configuration in the bundle that is fulfilled to the customer will be the reported sale and configuration.

         If there is only one format of an album sold (no bundle of multiple albums), then the sale continues to report as normal: when that album is fulfilled to the customer. 

Singles:

        Multiple formats of the same single can be bundled together (CD Single + Vinyl Single, Cassette Single + Digital Track, etc.).

         However, only one sale from each bundle is reportable.

         In a Physical + Digital Single/Track combination, ONLY the physical sale is the reportable sale, when it is fulfilled to the customer. If there are more than one physical configurations in a bundle, with a digital single/track, the first physical configuration in the bundle that is fulfilled to the customer will be the reported sale and configuration.

         When two (or more) Physical Singles are part of the purchase (CD Single + Vinyl Single, for example), and no Digital Single/Track, the first physical configuration in the bundle that is fulfilled to the customer will be the reported sale and configuration.

         If multiple copies of a digital song or track is sold as an item (example: a clean and explicit version of the same digital track), this would be reported under a single UPC, not by ISRC.

         If there is only one configuration of a single sold (one CD single, one vinyl single, one cassette single; no bundle of multiple singles), then the sale continues to report as normal: when that single is fulfilled to the customer.


What if someone buys multiple copies of the same album/song?
  1. Any sales of 5 or more copies of an album attributed to one customer at the UPC/ISRC level, no matter how that number of albums is accrued, is subject to Luminate’s bulk policy rule application.
  2. For sales designated as bulk, the following credit will apply (UPC/ISRC level):
    1. A customer who purchases 1 to 4 units will be ingested without any adjustments
    2. A customer who purchases 5 to 9 units will have that customer’s count reduced to 4 units for sales and ingested
    3. A customer who purchases 10 or more units be dismissed entirely, having that customer’s count adjusted to 0 units for sales and will not be ingested.
Billboard & Luminate Policy Updates / Rule Changes for 2022

 

1)    DIGITAL BULK RULE ADJUSTMENT

 

Beginning with the tracking week of Dec. 31, 2021, through Jan. 6, 2022, Billboard and Luminate will revise the policy regarding multiple purchases of a DIGITAL ISRC or UPC (Songs or Albums) by a customer in a tracking week. This update will align with long-standing policies at digital providers that represent the majority of digital music sales

 

Currently:

     A customer who purchases 1-4 units (at ISRC or UPC level) in a week will have their sales ingested by Luminate without adjustment.

     A customer who purchases 5-9 units (at ISRC or UPC level) in a week will have their sales reduced to 4 units.

     A customer who purchases 10 or more units (at ISRC or UPC level) in a week will have their sales dismissed.

 

Beginning with the tracking week of Dec. 31, 2021, through Jan. 6, 2022:

     A customer who purchases 1 Digital unit (at ISRC or UPC level) will have their sales ingested by Luminate without adjustment.

     A customer who purchases 2 or more Digital units (at ISRC or UPC level) will have their sales reduced to 1 unit.

 

The policy will not change for physical UPC sales as bulk will continue to be applied using the current standards noted above.

 

 

2)    PRICING POLICY UPDATE:

 

Unit sales for albums priced below $3.49 at any point will not be eligible for inclusion on the Billboard album charts and will not count towards sales data presented by Luminate.

 

Unit sales for digital tracks priced below $0.69 at any point will not be eligible for inclusion on Billboard’s charts and will not count towards sales data presented by Luminate.

 

     This is a change from prior rule which was only applicable for titles in their first four weeks of release.

     The rule also applies to reissued titles.

 

The below parameters have existed since the first implementation of the Pricing Rule and will remain in effect:

 

     Unit sales for albums with 8 or fewer tracks will not be eligible for charting if the retail price is less than the sum of the tracks on the release, multiplied by $0.69.

     For digital-only deluxe editions, any extra content of 10 or more tracks would be considered the equivalent of an extra disc. Each additional 10 tracks thereafter would be the equivalent of an additional disc.

     Minimum pricing for a multi-disc physical album (not a single disc with extra tracks), where the extra disc is audio content, will be $3.49 times the amount of discs being made available.

          

If a retailer offering a title for less than the above stated prices is a daily reporter to Luminate, sales will be removed for charting purposes solely for the dates in which the title was priced less than the minimum.

 

If a title was priced under the minimum during a portion of the day, all sales for that title on that day will not count towards the Billboard charts unless accurate transaction data for that title during the specific sales hours can be provided to Luminate for verification.

 

If a retailer offering a title for less than the above stated prices is a weekly reporter to Luminate, all units for that title sold by the retailer in the week will be removed for charting purposes unless accurate transaction data for that title on the sale date(s) can be provided to Luminate for verification.

 

 

3)    UPDATE AND REFRESHER ON BUNDLES Including Alternate Digital Covers & Digital Autograph Covers:

 

FOR ALBUMS:

 

Album sales cannot be reported if bundled with merchandise or ticket to an artist event/concert – even if album and merchandise or ticket are available a la carte.

Merchandise is essentially anything that is not the album itself, including (but not limited to) clothing, paper goods, accessories, virtual items, concert pre-sale codes, access to merchandise or meet-n-greet opportunities, contest entries (with or without No Purchase Necessary entrance options), fan club access, and so forth.

 

An album can be promoted as an add-on sale to a merchandise item or ticket – not baked-in to merchandise or ticket. Customer would make clear choice to purchase an album on its own, as a separate item, and album purchase must not yield any benefits or discounts to customer (this includes an album purchase yielding a discount on another album). Album price must be no lower than $3.49.
For more details, go to: https://data.mrcentertainment.com/portal/en/kb/articles/what-sales-are-we-allowed-to-report-when-music-is-bundles-with-other-things

Physical format albums sold within a finished goods boxed set/package, that may contain clearly artist/album-branded merchandise items), can continue to count as a sale as normal, following advance approval (minimum four weeks prior to release date).

Merchandise includes, but is not limited to:

°Clothing
°Accessories
°Concert Pre-Sale Codes
°Access to Merchandise
°Meet and Greet Opportunities
°Contest Entries (with or without No Purchase entrance options)
°Fan Club Access
°Paper goods like signed art cards, additional signed CD booklets/inserts, etc.

**However, items such as clothing and paper goods may be contained within a finished goods physical album boxed set/package, and count as a sale, following advance approval (minimum four weeks prior to release date).

**Artist Signatures on pre-packaged physical albums are allowable if the signature is contained on the booklet or album packaging and not part of a loose item distributed along with the album.

The following non-tangible items are also considered to be merchandise:

Virtual and/or digital items such as:
°NFTs
°Digital Album covers that may include personalized text/notes, animated or moving images, virtual or augmented reality capabilities
.
**However, digital album covers can continue to have alternative digital covers that have been acceptable in the past, which may include static images, including printed static ‘digital signatures’.

FOR SINGLES:

 

Sales of singles/tracks are not reportable if bundled with merchandise.
That includes any finished goods package.

 

Merchandise includes, but is not limited to:

°Clothing
°Accessories
°Concert Pre-Sale Codes
°Access to Merchandise
°Meet and Greet Opportunities
°Contest Entries (with or without No Purchase entrance options)
°Fan Club Access
°Paper goods like signed art cards, additional signed CD booklets/inserts, etc.


The following non-tangible items are also considered to be merchandise:

Virtual and/or digital items such as:
°NFTs
°Digital Song covers that include digital signatures, personalized text/notes, animated or moving images,virtual or augmented reality capabilities
.
**However, digital song covers can continue to have alternative digital covers that have been acceptable in the past, which may include static images.
But not a digital signature or any other virtual enhancement.

**Artist Signatures on pre-packaged physical singles are also NOT ALLOWABLE.

4)     SALES FROM PENITENTIARIES

 

Beginning with the tracking week of Dec. 31, 2021, through Jan. 6, 2022:

 

Sales from penitentiaries are among strata that will not be chart eligible, alongside already ineligible strata as flea markets, sales from traveling vehicles, etc.

 

Luminate, in consultation with Billboard, periodically reviews new as well as existing retail strata for eligibility to count in its numbers and in Billboard’s charts.

 

If there are any concerns over eligibility please reach out to the Luminate Merchant Services team at music.merchantservices@mrcentertainment.com.



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