Since IFPI is releasing their artist chart for 2020 today. I'm gonna repost a thread a made on the old akp forums
Lets start with IFPI:
1. IFPI's methodology for their charts (singles, album and artist) differ.
They are as follows
Singles: Includes audio streams, video streams and permanent downloads on a global basis, across the calendar year, using track equivalent units to combine measurements of digital sales and streams.
- Artist: The most popular recording artist based on a total of album-equivalent units, which include music downloads, streaming and physical format sales
- Album: Includes physical and digital download albums to rank the biggest albums of the year.
My thread will be focusing on the albums list for both UWC and IFPI.
2. As you can see from Above, that for the album chart... only physical sales and digital donwloads are used in the ranking for the albums chart. Meaning only actual physical sales like those reported by Gaon/hanteo and digital downloads from places like itunes count. SEA units will not count on IFPI's year end album list and never have.
That is why you see difference with other chart accounts that pull together WW sales for albums.
3. Some things that make IFPI's chart inaccurate include the fact that IFPI has proven that they gather data provided to them by the recording labels of artists. This means that they will use the data provided by the label and they don't seem to bother to check if artists are submitting everthing. This ends up creating a disparity in terms of having uniform data for each album/songs/artists sales being submitted. An example is from 2019:
these songs were the ifpi top singles for 2019 but for some of them certain countries were left out. This is not uniform at all and should be corrected as by doing this they aren't showing a clear picture as they leave out sales just cause the label might have forgotten to send them or cause maybe the label did not have access to them.
4. Another fault is that it also means that artists whose labels are bothered to submit their sales for god knows what reason won't be included. E.g. SVT sold 900k last year with An Ode (pure physicals)... the #10 best selling album on the IFPI list sold 0.8M units. meaning SVT did have enough sales to make it onto the list but because pledis isn't the most efficient or caring company about their artists.. they weren't included.
5. In particular to Korea, in 2018 IFPI was still in partnership with GAON so they had accruate and easy access to numbers of korean artists. In 2019 they partnership with gaon and ifpi was not renewed and thus
We have seen what happened with MOTS: Persona last year, where sales were underreported
IFPI did not even bother to check if digital downloads were submited and thus Persona's reported IFPI numbers were purely their HANTEO numbers (not even GAON numbers) at 2.5M despite persona literally being a certified 3M seller in korea.
6. This is why IFPI is not entirely accurate as they are relying on labels to send them data rather them making sure they have uniform data for all acts and making sure people who have sold enough to get on the list are on the list. The current way of having labels send data gives too much room for error or manipulation from labels and in general creates a non-uniform collection of what data is included.
Now lets look at UWCs album chart
I talked about how IFPI works and the faults it has above. I'll do the same for UWCs album chart now.
1. UWC's Album Chart is different from IFPI in the sense that while IFPI only includes pure sales (physicals + digital downloads), UWC includes both pure sales and streaming data for their numbers.
This is why you see a difference in acts IFPI versus UWC numbers a lot of the time as well.
- An example of an act that relied heavily on streaming for her album is Billie Eilish. She placed #1 on the UWC Chart in 2019 with 4.5M units. Compared to the IFPI list where she placed #5 with 1.2M units.
- Another example in the opposite way is Arashi. They aren't that strong with streaming comparitevly, they placed #10 on the UWC Chart in 2019 but placed #1 on the IFPI chart, as a majority of their units were pure sales.
2. UWC's Album Chart only includes data from countries with official charting companies that go through the data and filter out illegal (VPN) sales, bulk buying sales and mass streaming. These types of companies are Oricon (JPN), GAON (Korea) , Nielsen/Billboard (US), Official Charts Company (UK).
3. The above point is one of the limitations and faults UWC has where it only includes countries like the ones above that have their own reporting company that filters out certain data.
4. However, UWC at least has a uniform set of data they do collect equally for each artist. They don't leave out countries for some artists. If they are only counting certain countries. They are counting those countries for everyone unlike IFPI who doesn't make sure to check they are doing that.
Another account that calculates ww sales is chartmasters.org but they don't do it annualy they just put together lists for acts total sales. But their methodology for their WW sales seems at the moment the most accurate or reasonable, As they include a majority of countries (including some that don't have official charting companies), but they also make sure to weigh the sales from these countries to ensure that their is some sort of filtering in place.
In General the above essentially proves that at the moment there doesn't seem to be a completely accurate way to collect WW sales as both these used charts have their faults that affect the reported sales. It is extremely hard to be accurate with global sales as you are combining all different types of data (pure sales or streams) that needs to be weighed and gathered and there are so many errors in the way this is gathered by charts.
(basically i don't expect sh*t from the IFPI chart today in terms of screwing bts over cause they don't seem to double check numbers that labels send)