The results of last week’s tight race for the No. 1 spot on the Billboard album charts between Lana Del Rey’s stellar Lust For Life, Tyler The Creators confessional Flower Boy and Meek Mill’s comeback bid Wins & Losses, has yet to be officially decided, and won’t be for a little while longer. Apparently Billboard is holding off on releasing their numbers for the week ending on July 29 due to “technical difficulties.”
Chart Data is reporting that, “One of Nielsen’s data providers encountered ‘technical issues’, preventing the delivery of its data to Nielsen and Billboard.” Adding, “All charts are delayed until later this week. Billboard 200 results could change as well.”
The “data issue” could have something to do with the slim margins between Lana and Tyler’s albums, both of which crossed over 100,000 equivalent album units sold, but it might actually have more to do with Meek Mill and his latest record Wins & Losses.
Wins & Losses was released in front TIDAL’s pay-wall, which allowed subscribers and non-subscribers alike to stream the album for free. As Tyler pointed out in a since-deleted tweet, “DAMN TIDAL GOT ALBUMS PLAYING BEFORE A PAYWALL WHICH MAKES ME THINK N****AS CAN HAVE BOTS SPIKING UP PLAYS FOR BILLBOARD ON FRIDAY HMM.”
Billboard later clarified their position on this matter in an official statement. “We’re getting questions around whether Billboard is suddenly counting free streams for this coming week’s Billboard 200, seemingly due to some misinformation posted online,” they wrote. “Billboard does not currently have in place any rule or rules dictating how an approved streaming chart contributor can present or promote content on their services,” adding that their results are, “arrived at in partnership with our industry constituents (record labels, distribution companies, etc.).”
Stay tuned for more on this story as it develops.