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Billboard tweaks album sales chart to include streams, digital track sales

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Until now, the Billboard 200 chart has been ranked based on albums sales, but that's about to change. On November 30th, that list will expand its criteria to include sales of a record's individual tracks and streaming plays for the chart that'll post on December 4th. Ten tracks sold will equal one album, while 1,500 spins via the likes of Spotify, Rdio or Beats Music from the same title will count as one sale, too. "Now we have the ability to look at that engagement and gauge the popularity of an album over time," Billboard's director of charts Silvio Pietroluongo told The New York Times. As you might expect, pop stars stand to benefit most.

For example, Ariana Grande's "My Everything" was number 36 last week after amassing 10,000 sales, but with the new numbers added in, it jumps to ninth. This will also offer a boost to popular new artists, who usually stream way more than they sell, offering those acts a chance to earn a spot on the list. Of course, this means Ms. Swift will get improved sales numbers from streaming services should she choose to make future releases available there.

[Photo credit: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images]

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