Reporting Website Sales to SoundScan
SoundScan is a tracking platform owned and operated by Nielsen. It is a method of tracking sales of music and music video products throughout the United States and Canada. Data is collected weekly and made available every Wednesday to subscribers, which include record companies, publishing firms, music retailers, independent promoters, film and TV companies, and artist managers.
In order to have a chance at making the Billboard music charts, any release must be registered with SoundScan using UPC number (for the whole album) and ISRC codes (for the individual tracks). Without registration, the sales figures will not be counted and will remain invisible to the system.
A major benefit after a marketing strategy is being able to chart on key sales charts such as Billboard magazine. Having a chart position can be valuable to an up and coming artist. It helps to build a story that can open various industry doors.
It is difficult for independent artists to report sales made on their own websites to tracking systems like Nielsen SoundScan which is needed to make all those sales counts. Another way of doing this is to go through an online distributor.
With the industry still finding its footing for the future and it’s business model being modified, some of the old business strategies and concepts still exist. As an independent, it is important to know those strategies and incorporate them into your business plan.