KEY POINTS

  • Billboard's new rule applies only to digital sales and not on physical albums 
  • Many social media users said the new rules may affect lesser known artists 
  • A Wisconsin musician said Spotify paid him $27, despite reaching 25,000 streams

Billboard's new set of rules regarding its Hot 100 and other charts has sent BTS fans abuzz on social media.

In a tweet, Billboard had announced it will no longer count bulk album purchases for its Hot 100 and other charts. The new rules were announced by Billboard in December 2021, and became effective in 2022. With the new rules, a single digital sale will be counted per customer per week for songs and albums. The new rule applies only to digital sales, and not physical album sales.

“Billboard has introduced new rules for the Hot 100 and other charts effective immediately. Only 1 digital sale will be counted per customer per week for songs and albums. 'Bulk purchases' of 2 or more will not be counted (via SingleMusic),” Billboard’s @chartdata tweeted.

The BTS fans (ARMY) are unhappy with this development as they are known to purchase multiple album copies in support of their idols.

User @modooborahae unleashed sharp words against Billboard on her Twitter page.

“Just makes me laugh when I think about how much billboard (and the western music industry) hates the guys (and us). first, they got rid of the top social artist chart when it looked like BTS would never be dethroned, and now they changed the billboard charts. pathetic.”

While it seems that Billboard is encouraging fans to focus on the importance of using streaming platforms to influence the charts, this might be detrimental to less popular musicians who are earning very little from streaming sites, a fan warned.

"My opinion on the chart changes. I'd also like to add that I don't think this will affect the boys (even though the industry wants it to). I think this will hurt small artists more. Our boys are outliers who the industry can't control and ARMY will support them in whatever system," @Zubbycat said. 

Devin Jay, a musician from Wisconsin, agreed the new rules will affect musicians like him. In a tweet, he revealed Spotify paid him a measly $27 for his music that reached over 25,000 streams.

“You’re not wrong… my song got 25K+ streams… i got paid 27.00 lol it’s ridiculous other one got over 5K streams on spotify and got $5,” he said before sharing an image of a receipt showing the digital sales of his song, “Can’t Help Falling In Love.”

“Here’s some proof, QTY is the streams…. i got paid $5.90 for 5,047 streams on Spotify.. only way you’re making money is if you BLOW UP, have label backing.. FACTS,” he wrote.

A recent report from Forbes, citing MRC Data and Billboard, revealed K-pop acts have jazzed up the dismal sales of music albums in America including the perishing CD format.

In 2021, four of the top 10 best-selling CDs in the U.S. were from K-pop boy bands -- BTS, Tomorrow X Together and NCT127. Sales of music albums last year, led by the said K-pop acts, effectively reversed the downward trend of album sales in the past years. 

This handout photo courtesy of American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. / ABC shows South Korean band BTS accept the Favorite Pop Duo or Group award onstage during the 2021 American Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles This handout photo courtesy of American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. / ABC shows South Korean band BTS accept the Favorite Pop Duo or Group award onstage during the 2021 American Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles Photo: American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. / ABC via AFP