The newly refreshed Billboard 200 albums chart welcomes a familiar face back to No. 1, as Taylor Swift’s 1989 hops back to the top slot (2-1) after a one-week vacation. This is the album’s fourth non-consecutive week at No. 1.
The Billboard 200, which has long been a chart that ranked the most popular albums of the week based on pure album sales, now shifts its methodology to a multi-metric consumption model. The ranking includes on-demand streaming and digital track sales, in addition to traditional album sales, all measured by Nielsen.
This is the most substantial update to the chart’s methodology since May of 1991, when Billboard first used Nielsen’s point-of-sale data — SoundScan — to measure album sales.
As previously reported, the new Billboard 200 chart uses accepted industry benchmarks for digital and streaming data, where 10 digital track sales from an album is equivalent to one album sale, and 1,500 song streams from an album equates to one album sale. All of the major on-demand audio subscription services are considered, including Spotify, Beats Music, Google Play and Xbox Music.