Valence Media, the parent company of Billboard and Hollywood Reporter is acquiring Nielsen's music-related data, software and analytics business, according to multiple reports. Nielsen Soundscan provides the data that power's Billboard's iconic music charts.
The deal is expected to close later this year at a price in the eight-figure range, sources tell Bloomberg. The new deal would allow Billboard to do more with the data including possibly putting some Nielsen-based charts and other data behind a paywall.
Last year, Rolling Stone acquired Soundscan competitor BuzzAngle Music to power its own music charts, and other's in the industry are questioning how neutral Billboard's chart's will be if they also control the data source.
'Rights holders are said to be concerned about the lack of transparency and checks and balances that could result from Billboard’s impending deal to acquire SoundScan from Nielsen" says snarky competitor Hits Daily Double. "How will this move affect the myriad credibility problems swirling about the Billboard charts, notably regarding ticket and merch bundles and unverified YouTube data?"