The Billboard is a record chart ranking the most popular music albums and EPs in the United States. It is published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists. Often, a recording act will be remembered by its " number ones ", those of their albums that outperformed all others during at least one week.
The chart grew from a weekly top 10 list in to become a top in May , and acquired its present title in March The chart is based mostly on sales both at retail and digital of albums in the United States. The weekly sales period was originally Monday to Sunday when Nielsen started tracking sales in , but since July , tracking week begins on Friday to coincide with the Global Release Date of the music industry and ends on Thursday. A new chart is published the following Tuesday with an issue post-dated to the Saturday of that week, four days later.
New product is released to the American market on Fridays. Digital downloads of albums are also included in Billboard tabulation. Albums that are not licensed for retail sale in the United States yet purchased in the U. A long-standing policy which made titles that are sold exclusively by specific retail outlets such as Walmart and Starbucks ineligible for charting, was reversed on November 7, , and took effect in the issue dated November Beginning with the December 13, issue, Billboard updated the methodology of their album chart to also include on-demand streaming and digital track sales as measured by Nielsen SoundScan by way of a new algorithm, utilizing data from all of the major on-demand audio subscription and online music sales services in the United States.
Starting on the issue dated January 18, , Billboard updated the methodology to compile the chart again by incorporating video data from YouTube , along with visual plays from streaming services like Apple Music , Spotify , Tidal , and Vevo. As of the issue dated August 29, , the current number-one album on the Billboard is Folklore by Taylor Swift. Billboard began an album chart in Initially only five positions long, the album chart was not published on a weekly basis, sometimes three to seven weeks passing before it was updated.
A biweekly though with a few gaps , position Best-Selling Popular Albums chart appeared in With the increase in album sales as the early s format wars stabilized into market dominance by 45 RPM singles and long-playing twelve-inch albums, with 78 RPM record and long-playing ten-inch album sales decreasing dramatically, Billboard premiered a weekly Best-Selling Popular Albums chart on March 24, The position count varied anywhere from 10 to 30 albums. The first number-one album on the new weekly list was Belafonte by Harry Belafonte.
On August 17, , the stereo and mono charts were combined into a position chart called Top LPs. On April 1, , the chart was expanded to positions, then finally to positions on May 13, In , Billboard began concurrently publishing album charts which ranked sales of older or mid-priced titles. These Essential Inventory charts were divided by stereo and mono albums, and featured titles that had already appeared on the main stereo and mono album charts. Mono albums were moved to the Essential Inventory—Mono chart 25 positions after spending 40 weeks on the Mono Action Chart , and stereo albums were moved to the Essential Inventory—Stereo chart 20 positions after 20 weeks on the Stereo Action Chart.
Albums appeared on either chart for up to nine weeks, then were moved to an Essential Inventory list of approximately titles, with no numerical ranking. This list continued to be published until the consolidated Top LPs chart debuted in In , Billboard began publishing a Midline Albums chart alternatively titled Midline LPs which ranked older or mid-priced titles.
The chart held 50 positions and was published on a bi-weekly and later tri-weekly basis. The criteria for this chart were albums that were more than 18 months old and had fallen below position on the Billboard Starting with the issue dated December 5, , however, the catalog limitations which removed albums over 18 months old, that have dropped below position and have no currently-running single, from the Billboard was lifted, turning the chart into an all-inclusive list of the highest-selling albums in the country essentially changing Top Comprehensive Albums into the Billboard A new chart that keeps the previous criteria for the Billboard dubbed Top Current Albums was also introduced in the same issue.
Billboard has adjusted its policies for Christmas  and holiday  albums several times. The albums were eligible for the main album charts until , when a Christmas Albums list was created. Albums appearing here were not listed on the Top LPs chart.
In , this rule was reverted and holiday albums again appeared within the main list. In , the Christmas Albums chart was resurrected, but a title's appearance here did not disqualify it from appearing on the Top Pop Albums chart. In the chart was retitled Top Holiday Albums. As of the chart holds 50 positions and is run for several weeks during the end-of-calendar-year holiday season. Its current policy allows holiday albums to concurrently chart on the Top Holiday Albums list and the Billboard Since May 25, , the Billboard 's positions have been derived from Nielsen SoundScan sales data, as of [update] contributed by approximately 14, music sellers.
Because these numbers are supplied by a subset of sellers rather than record labels , it is common for these numbers to be substantially lower than those reported by the Recording Industry Association of America when Gold, Platinum and Diamond album awards are announced RIAA awards reflect wholesale shipments , not retail sales.
Beginning with the December 13, issue, Billboard updated the methodology of its album chart again, changing from a "pure sales-based ranking" to one measuring "multi-metric consumption". Under the new methodology, ten track sales or 1, song streams from an album are treated as equivalent to one purchase of the album. Billboard will continue to publish a pure album sales chart, called Top Album Sales, that maintains the traditional Billboard methodology, based exclusively on SoundScan's sales data.
Beginning on January 18, , Billboard will incorporate video and audio data from YouTube, along with visual plays from streaming services like Apple Music , Spotify, Tidal , and Vevo , into the Billboard The change will also impact Billboard 's genre-specific album charts. Billboard 's "chart year" runs from the first week of December to the final week in November. This altered calendar allows for Billboard to calculate year-end charts and release them in time for its final print issue in the last week of December.
Prior to Nielsen SoundScan, year-end charts were calculated by an inverse-point system based solely on an album's performance on the Billboard for example, an album would be given one point for a week spent at position , two points for a week spent at position Other factors including the total weeks on the chart and at its peak position were calculated into an album's year-end total. After Billboard began obtaining sales information from Nielsen SoundScan, the year-end charts are now calculated by a very straightforward cumulative total of yearlong sales.
This gives a more accurate picture of any given year's best-selling albums, as a title that hypothetically spent nine weeks at number one in March could possibly have sold fewer copies than one spending six weeks at number three in January. In , Billboard magazine compiled a ranking of the best-performing albums on the chart over the 52 years, along with the best-performing artists.
Also shown are the artists placing the most albums on the overall "all-time" top album list. Source: . List of the ten acts with the most weeks at No. Sources:  . The following artists are the only ones with 30 or more top albums: . Note: As a musician, Paul McCartney has the most top 10 albums, with This includes 32 with The Beatles , 7 albums with the group Wings , 1 album credited to him and his first wife Linda McCartney , and 11 solo albums.
Here are the albums to complete the 10 longest rises to No. Note: Newhart, Meader, and Fontaine's albums were all 1 on the mono chart, but not on the stereo chart. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. US weekly album chart published by Billboard Magazine.
See also: album-equivalent unit. December 19, Retrieved January 1, Archived from the original on January 26, Retrieved June 24, Archived from the original on April 19, Retrieved November 6, Archived from the original on November 22, Retrieved November 20, December 13, Retrieved December 15, Retrieved August 23, Archived from the original on September 30, Retrieved January 8, Archived from the original on July 3, Retrieved November 17, Archived from the original on March 30, Retrieved June 30, November 12, Archived from the original on October 9, Retrieved October 2, Archived from the original on October 1, Archived from the original on September 26, Archived from the original on June 10, Retrieved December 6, Retrieved March 20, Retrieved September 17, Mental Floss.
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