Billboard’s parent company to purchase Nielsen SoundScan

Valence are looking to acquire SoundScan so that Billboards charts and music data are all under one umbrella.

Billboard and SoundScan work closely together, with the latter providing music data and analytics to inform the world renowned music charts of Billboard. Both companies run in their own circles currently under the parentship of Valence and Nielsen respectively.

According to multiple reports Valence, the parent of Billboard, are now looking to acquire Nielsen’s SoundScan. SoundScan represents the largest data analytics provider for the music industry. The purchase, expected to go through later this year for an 8-figure price, would provide Billboard with an edge over charting competitors.

It’s unlikely a coincidence that this deal has been reported just months after Rolling Stone launched their very own charts in July. Rolling Stone’s charts update daily, unlike Billboards which refresh each week, to represent the modern music industry of real-time streaming data constantly changing. Rolling Stone partnered with BuzzAngle Music for their own music data.

Some competitors have expressed concern over the high status of the deal. Rival music charts site, Hits Daily Double said: “Rights holders are said to be concerned about the lack of transparency and checks and balances that could result from Billboard’s impending deal to acquire SoundScan from Nielsen.

“How will this move affect the myriad credibility problems swirling about the Billboard charts, notably regarding ticket and merch bundles and unverified YouTube data?”

The sale of Nielsen’s assets follows a dramatic year in 2018 when their CEO retired and their forecast looked gloomy, leading to shares dropping. They’ve been in talks to sell the whole company to private equity buyers, but for now are only selling parts of their business.

Head of Social Media and Marketing, RouteNote

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