Garth just released his THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION 10 CD box set exclusively through Target and sold 134k in it’s first week…surely a #1 caliber chart number in these times…right? Well, Billboard didn’t think so. They declined to chart it at all, citing the “Gaga” rule.
In 2011 Lady Gaga’s label did a big promotion with Amazon for her new album. They sold it for 99 cents to ensure that it debuted at #1…which it did, selling 450,000. Billboard reacted by putting a rule in place where an album/disc must sell for at least $3.49 to be eligible for their chart. That also applies to each disc in a must-disc release. It was established to prevent chart manipulation and is not a bad rule….on the surface.
Garth’s 10 disc box set is selling for 30.00, or 3.00 per disc…below the qualifying number. While the rule is a good one on the surface…in this case it’s unfair and needs to have some common sense latitude built into it. This is the best selling artist in history and he just generated over 4 million dollars in revenue in a single week. I don’t care how much each disc sold for…these numbers should have gotten Garth a #1 album chart debut.
Add to this lack of judgement the fact that they permit blatant chart manipulation by applying streams worth fractions of a penny to a cumulative album sales number and you have a clear case of hypocrisy.
WTF, Billboard? You have to fix this.