Another Chart Milestone: You Can Hit #1 Without Selling Anything

If you look at this week’s Billboard Top 200 album charts, you’ll see something we’ve never seen before. Chance the Rapper’s new project, Coloring Book, is sitting in the Top 10. Yet this album hasn’t sold a single copy.

Wait. What?

Coloring Book was released as an Apple Music exclusive back on May 13. Anyone could listen to a stream of it, but there was no way to purchase the album, either as a download or as a physical copy.

This is the result of Billboard’s formula for using streams when it comes to compiling what used to be a sales-only metric. In their world, if tracks from an album stream 1,500 times, that counts the same as one album sold. Applying this to Coloring Book results in an album-equivalent number of 38,000 units, good enough to reach #8 on this week’s charts.

Things ain’t the same, are they?  Read more at Billboard.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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