Billboard’s parent company has bought Nielsen Music insights

Billboard may get exclusive access to the music data powering their charts as their parent company buys out the influential Nielsen Music.

Valence Media have bought Nielsen Music, an organisation renowned for their data and analysis in the music industry. Billboard have just gained a great ally under their parent Valence, as Nielsen is the provider for the data they use in their music charts.

Whilst it’s a convenient umbrella for the two companies to work under, Valence have made a point that their businesses won’t run differently. They have pledged “to operate with clear separation between the data and editorial teams and continue to follow best practices and security standards to ensure clients’ data integrity”.

Reports suggest that Nielsen have been selling off assets to recover from company losses with their share prices crashing in recent years. Their sale to Valence Media and clear value to other companies in their roster should help them to stabilise.

Billboard and Nielsen Music were once owned by the same company. Between 1999 and 2009 they were both owned by Dutch media group Verenigde Nederlandse Uitgeverijen. Billboard was then sold on before coming under Valence.

President of Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Group, Deanna Brown said: “By bringing Nielsen Music Products and Billboard back together, we’re answering the request from the music industry for a more coordinated, powerful, agile and global suite of independent measurement products.”

Billboard will be looking to solidify their current hold on music charts. Rolling Stone announced this year that they are launching their own charts which they claim will be more up to date with daily updated charts using streaming data.

Baggs tore the roof off of RouteNote with their insatiable session (video)

Get the tasty sound of Baggs’ grunge powered riffs down you for an emotional, fuzzy dinner of delicious songs.

Baggs have carved their own new path out of a sound that was set long along by the grunge icons of the 90s. With their brand of fuzzy riffs and vocal harmonies that pluck at your heart matter this is a session we won’t forget.

Dive in deep with their amazing RouteNote Session, featuring 3 of their best tracks, and discover a new favourite sound in alternative rock.

Find each track from Baggs’ RouteNote Session on all major streaming services and download stores.



RouteNote Sessions


Green Day Pack Live on Beat Saber to Buy

Beat Saber seems to be getting more and more popular over time. Beat Saber has just signed up Green Day – so now anyone can purchase the Green Day Music Back in Beat Saber for $9.

The pack includes six songs:

  • “American Idiot”
  • “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”
  • “Father of All…”
  • “Fire, Ready, Aim”
  • “Holiday”
  • “Minority”

Ed Sheeran has been crowned the UK’s top artist of the decade

With 2020 just weeks away we get to look back at an entire decade of music and the UK’s top artist has been named.

The Official Charts have revealed their Record Breaker Award in their list of awards for the last decade. British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran takes the accolade as the Official Number 1 Artist of the Decade in the UK.

Ed Sheeran holds the achievement of Most Number 1s in the Official Singles and Albums chart with 12 Number 1s since 2010. He also has the record for most weeks at Number 1 between 2010-2019 in the UK, equalling the past 79 weeks.

Speaking to Official Charts, Ed Sheeran said: “Thank you to everyone who’s supported me over the past 10 years. Especially my amazing fans. Here’s to the next 10!”

Chief Executive of the Official Charts Company, Martin Talbot said: “Ed has truly dominated this decade and is a worthy recipient of this amazing new award. At the start of the decade, he was a little known (albeit highly rated) young 18-year-old lad from Suffolk – but his catalogue of achievements since then are genuinely remarkable. Today, he is firmly established among the highest levels of global music superstars.”

With a new decade on the way, we have another 10 years of entirely new musicians and artists ahead. A new star will rise and at this time 2029, it could be anyone that we’re writing this about.

Grand Theft Auto V gets a new radio station hosted by Danny Brown

Rapper Danny Brown is getting a radio station in Grand Theft Auto V full of UK rappers and exclusive new songs.

This month, Grand Theft Auto V adds iFruit Radio to their in-game radio roster full of stations. Joining major artists and personalities like Flying Lotus, Bootsy Collins, Frank Ocean and Keith Morris, Detroit rapper Danny Brown will be hosting this new station.

The radio features a mix of rap and hip-hop from the US and cuts from across the pond with offerings from the UK. Tracks will include an exclusive new track from British rapper Slowthai and a new track from Baauer & Channel Tres featuring Danny Brown himself.

This isn’t Brown’s first foray into the world of Grand Theft Auto. He already had a cameo appearance on an NPC near Los Santos beach who, if antagonised, will react with Danny Brown’s voice.

Check out the tracklist:

  • Megan Thee Stallion ft DaBaby – Cash Shit
  • Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Crime Pays
  • Skepta ft Nafe Smalls – Greaze Mode
  • Pop Smoke – 100K on the Coupe
  • slowthai – I Need
  • Danny Brown – Dance In The Water
  • The Egyptian Lover – Everything She Wants
  • Burna Boy ft Zlatan – Killin Dem
  • Skepta & AJ Tracey – Kiss and Tell
  • D-Block Europe – Kitchen Kings
  • JME ft Giggs – Knock Your Block Off
  • Travis Scott – HIGHEST IN THE ROOM
  • Yung Thug ft Gunna and Travis Scott – Hot (Remix)
  • DaBaby ft Kevin Gates – POP STAR
  • Kranium feat AJ Tracey – Money In The Bank
  • J Hus – Must Be
  • Baauer and Channel Tres feat. Danny Brown – Ready to Go
  • D Double E & Watch the Ride ft DJ Die, Dismantle and DJ Randall – Original Format 
  • Shoreline Mafia – Wings
  • Alkaline – With the Thing
  • Headie One ft Skepta – Back to Basics (Floating Points Remix)
  • City Girls – Act Up
  • Denzel Curry & YBN Cordae ft. Take a Daytrip – AL1ENZ
  • Koffee ft Gunna – W
  • DaBaby – BOP
  • Naira Marley – Opotoyi (Marlians)
  • ScHoolboy Q – Numb Numb Juice
  • ESSIE GANG ft SQ Diesel – Pattern Chanel

iFruit Radio will be available in GTA V on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC on December 12th with the Diamond Casino Heist update.

Artists get your year on Spotify Wrapped up

The end of the year is fast approaching and that means it’s time to take a look back at 2019 and what your music has been doing.

Spotify for Artists have launched their 2019 Wrapped for Artists. Take a look back at the year and how your music performed, who was listening, where they come from and more.

It’s a time to rejoice as festivities begin and we look forward to a new year. It’s also a time to reflect and remember all the things we appreciate from the year just passed. Artists can take a look at their Artist Wrapped fir a tailor-made celebration of their music on Spotify in 2019.

They’ve focused on growth this year, looking at how your music has done this year compared to the year before. They’ll present you with all the new listeners you’ve gained, how many more minutes they’ve listened to, and how you’ve performed overall.

Share a snapshot of your 2019 as an artist on Spotify on social media easily. Show all your fans what a year it’s been and thank them for their part in making 2019 a great year for music!

It’s as simple as logging in to your Spotify for Artists account to find your Artist Wrapped experience. As long as you have more than 3 listens then you’ll be able to get your 2019 Wrapped music summary. If you haven’t already, you can claim your artist profile here.

The best Black Friday deals on microphones under $50

Black Friday is approaching and that means mega deals are on the way. Whether you’re looking to sing your heart out or get a professional sound on your podcast, here are the best microphone deals.

ZealSound Condenser Recording & Broadcasting Studio Microphone – $24.73

MAONO USB Microphone Kit 192KHZ/24BIT Plug & Play – $45.90

Neewer NW-700 Professional Studio Broadcasting Recording Condenser Microphone – $22.94

MAONO AU-A04T USB Condenser Microphone Kit 192KHZ/24BIT Plug & Play – $45.04

Neewer NW-7000 USB Condenser Microphone for Windows and Mac – $28.89

Make sure to check back on the RouteNote Blog all this week where we’ll be finding the best Black Friday deals on instruments, music equipment, and more.

Billboard change how album sales are counted for merch bundles

Billboard have looked at the way they count album sales and changed the rules for how a sale is counted for merchandise bundles.

Merchandise bundles have been causing a bit of a fuss in recent years. People have argued that album sales have been manipulated using merchandise to place artists higher in the charts than they should have been based on people actually buying the album.

As the current system stands, it’s possible to throw in an album on the side of a bundle and that will count as a sale. This has meant in some cases albums have been added to pieces of merch for the sake of it, so that when someone buys a t-shirt or a poster (looking at you Nicki Minaj) they get the album regardless and boom there’s another sale.

Billboard have recognised the potential for manipulation and announced new rules for how bundles will count. They’ve stated: “Many [argue] these bundled album sales do not reflect customers’ true interest in purchasing the album, but, rather, the merchandise it’s packaged with. The new rules look to address that concern, by offering customers the option to purchase the merchandise with or without the album.”

The new rules will take effect on January 3rd, 2020 and will require features of the bundle to be sold on their own as well as in the bundle. The merch/content must also be at least $3.49 more when it comes with an album than it costs on its own.

Billboard have stated that from the 3rd of January all album releases will need to adhere to these rules to be counted. That includes bundles that were on sale before the change. Billboard have clarified that their new policy won’t affect albums included in concert ticket offer bundles.

Billboard said: “The sales strategy of album bundles is decades-old, but in recent years the practice has become increasingly popular as the industry tries to find new ways to sell album – as customers are buying fewer albums in favour of streaming their favourite new releases.”