Like the oft sung audition song, A Change is Gonna Come. Of course, unlike the change in that song, sales tracking is a trivial matter. In the Sisyphean battle to stop illegal downloads of album leaks from eroding sales, the world-wide music industry has decided to synchronize album release dates. In the US, albums have traditionally been released on Tuesdays and sales tracked from Monday to Sunday (Tuesday was the release day to allow merchants to stock their shelves on Monday back when stores were not open on Sunday). In other Countries, albums were released on other dates. The world-wide industry has decided that starting July 10th, albums will be released on Friday.
That means changes for the tracking week. We are likely going to have to change the focus of some of our daily numbers threads. Monday to Sunday will still be the tracking week for radio play. Concerts will likely still be reported on Thursdays. BB says that it will release charts on Friday (and why not? Surely the computers can crunch the numbers over-night. They can write a lot of the articles based on the tracking data and just insert the final data when its available). Who knows when we will get sales data and HDD has a pending article explaining what they will do.
What does that mean for the four days between the two charts? Well, Billboard is apparently reporting for the seven days ending July 5th and then for the 11 days ending July 9th (I’m kind of surprised more people didn’t release an album last week so that they could chart highly for two weeks). For numbers tracking, only the 11 days of sales will be counted historically (the 7-day sales numbers were just an intermediate report).
Another change is to the Hot 100/combined singles charts. In the past, radio play for them was tracked Wednesday to Tuesday. They will now be synchronized with the straight radio airplay charts to be from Monday to Sunday. I’m not entirely sure why the don’t synch to sales. With all the automated reporting they can pick any day they want.
So, to sum it up:
SALES: Friday to Thursday
STREAMS: Friday to Thursday
AIRPLAY: Monday to Sunday
I have no numbers to offer, so I will offer Wookie instead. Have a Wookie Cookie – they’re Chewie!