The T-Shirt-Turned-CD: Soundscan Bites Back

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Isn’t an album an album, regardless of its format?

Whether a USB stick, over-the-air download, or even a t-shirt bundled with an online redemption code?  What does it matter, especially with formats and consumer habits shifting so quickly?

At Nielsen Soundscan, it definitely does matter.  After a feature on the upcoming, Mos Def t-shirt-turned-CD, a Soundscan representative firmly challenged a claim by concept visionary Jeremy Wineberg that sales would be counted.  “Nielsen Soundscan knows nothing about this and without knowing more, we have no intention of counting units triggered by the sale of a t-shirt,” Soundscan representative Anna Solters told Digital Music News on Friday.

But Wineberg was happy to dig into details.  Instead of directly reporting retail sales through his company, Invisible DJ, Wineberg plans to relay the information back to the label.  The label, in turn, can then submit the sale to Soundscan.

Sounds like a plan, and Soundscan offered some receptivity to the methodology – pending the results of a discussion and negotiation.  Sound familiar?  Anyone pushing a new format, concept or payment idea usually has a laundry list of negotiations and licensing considerations to consider, and Wineberg is no different.  On that note, the parties will be talking, so stay tuned for updates.