Khaled was furious when his album came in at No. 2 to Tyler, the Creator’s “IGOR,” after Billboard allegedly discounted downloads sold by the DJ and producer as part of a “bundle deal” with an energy drink. Bundle deals, which offer album downloads alongside merchandise, are a standard but controversial industry practice to boost sales.
Billboard had agreed it would count downloads from Khaled’s energy drink package, which sources in the artist’s camp say amounted to more than 100,000. Billboard later backtracked, disqualifying Khaled’s entire sales from the promotion, arguing there were “anomalies” in his figures. According to Page Six, lawyers for Khaled have fired off a letter to Silvio Pietroluongo, SVP of charts and data development at Billboard.
A DJ Khaled Page Six source said, “When Khaled’s team tried to appeal, Billboard refused to budge.” The source said the situation was all the more unjust because Tyler, the Creator’s bundle deal figures were included in his total sales. On May 30, Billboard announced Tyler debuted at No. 1 with 165,000 albums sold, with Khaled at No. 2 at 137,000. Not fair, argues Khaled’s team.
Khaled had a tense meeting with Sylvia Rhone, chairman and CEO of his label Epic, over the matter. The source explained, “Khaled was frustrated his label didn’t fight harder for his bundle sales to be included.”
A Billboard source disputed that 100,000 DJ Khaled sales were disqualified but admitted an undisclosed number of his sales were ruled out because “there were strange anomalies in the data,” adding that the decision was based on chart rules following talks with Khaled’s management, Sony Records and Nielsen. Billboard announced it has reviewed its rules allowing artists to bundle albums with merch and will outline a new policy for 2020.