Are you familiar with Billboard, the sales, streams and spin chart ran by Nielsen? You may know those guys as the people who dictate whether your favorite TV show is renewed or not. Nielsen is more than just TV analytics, they also track radio, book sales, and music sales!
So why is this important?
The reason why it is important to know about Billboard because there chart is the industry standard for how well an artist is doing. Since 1991, Billboard has tracked the sales of physical music and downloads and streams in the 2000’s. Whenever a vinyl or CD was shipped to the store, it was tracked by Neilsen. Many artists aren’t aware that the media they sell on their merch table should be reported to Nielsen’s music tracking service, Soundscan.
How do I report my sales to Soundscan?
You should be working with a solid distribution company that solicits your physical product to brick and mortar retailers. Those sales will be reported to Soundscan by them. But what about your merch table sales? Shake suggests using an app called AtVenu to report those sales. There is no annual fee, just a by the month $10. Use the app for as long as you need it. Just a few hundred sales can chart an artist or band on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart. Qualifying artists can never have charted the Billboard Hot 200. A few thousand will chart on Billboard’s Hot 200 along the likes of Taylor Swift and Lizzo. Presales become key, as the sales from preorders count as first week sales. Set up a release show (or shows) that first week of sales to maximize the amount of reported sales.
Don’t forget to register your UPC’s for every version (Vinyl, CD, Cassette) of the album to Nielsen on their website: https://titlereg.soundscan.com/soundscantitlereg/.
If you would like to explore more ways to increase sales to chart on Billboard, hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org.