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Epic Records Found a Loophole In The Billboard 200 Streaming Rules

Epic Records Found a Loophole In The Billboard 200 Streaming Rules

(Music News) How can an album that nobody has ever bought make the US Top 10 four times? It’s simple, the answer is ——> the growing power of streaming. 

Epic Records has engineered the chart feat with Epic AF, a compilation album that has never been released but it features a bunch of tracks that have been incredibly popular songs in their own right.

Since late 2014 when streaming services began their domination of the music industry, the Billboard 200 album chart has counted 1,500 streams or ten paid downloads of a song as equivalent to one album sale. The catch? This is only the case if the song in question is attached to an album. If it’s not, those streams and downloads count for nothing.

Epic Records figured that there must be a way around this fiddly little issue as many of their artists’ viral tunes were being wasted simply because they were not yet on an album. Their solution was to collate those songs into their own compilation record so they could count towards the chart, which still stands as a key marketing tool for labels.
Dave Bakula, a senior analyst for Nielsen Music, which runs the Billboard 200, told the New York Times that Epic Records was “trying to manipulate the charts” by finding a loophole in its rules yet praised them for “being creative and having enough of a stable of big-name artists and big songs” to make an unconventional impact. “It feels a little bit like a ‘Now That’s What I Call Music!’ record for streaming services,” he said.

Sony, which owns Epic Records, is reportedly planning another compilation album featuring more pop acts.


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