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  1. #1
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    How does an album reach number 1 or go gold in digital age ?

    As an old timer, I no longer know how the Billboard Charts are tabulated with physical formats barely available and the switch to streaming and downloads. Also, Billboard used to list all the gold and platinum records issued every month and it was a long monthly list. Now there are barely any issued.

    In another thread, it was mentioned that Beyonce's album reached number one this week.

    Beyoncé’s Renaissance blasts in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart [[dated Aug. 13) with 2022’s biggest week by a woman – and the second-largest week of the year overall – as the set launches atop the chart with 332,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending Aug. 4, according to Luminate.

    What is an equivalent album unit? Also, I never heard of Luminate, but just googled and it is the successor of Soundscan [[later Nielson Soundscan)

    Soundscan used to be hooked up to many retail stores and provided those sales along with other info to Billboard.

    So I guess my question is "How does Luminate determine 'the equialant of 332,000 album units'?"

    Also, does the RIAA still issue gold and platinum records for physical units sold or do they also use the same formula of "equivalent units sold"

    Just a curious old mind asking

  2. #2
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    I would think that an equivalent album unit is a download of all tracks on a release and not just specific singles.

  3. #3
    This is my understanding of how it works...

    One album unit = 1,500 streams, so if an album has 10 songs, each song would be streamed 150 times to result in 1,500 album streams.

    When someone buys a digital copy of an album on the iTunes store, for instance, that also equals one album unit. If you buy a CD, that's one album unit.

    The RIAA now only issues gold and platinum records for album units, which encompasses all formats [streams, digital downloads and physical format sales].

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the explanation Carlo. With downloading and physical CDs just about extinct, I was wondering what were the units that they were counting.

  5. #5
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    Great question milven.

    Also, I wonder how they decided that 1500 streams was equivalent to one album unit? How did they work it out?

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