CHRISTIAN SOUNDSCAN RECORD LABEL FAQ

Christian SoundScan is a tracking system designed to reflect consumer intent of purchase for Christian music and video products. Not all sales that occur in retail outlets or at concerts are counted by Christian SoundScan. Only sales that fall within the Christian SoundScan guidelines and policies will be tracked. These guidelines and policies can be found in full in the label information packet. In an effort to further clarify any questions or confusion about these policies, this Frequently Asked Questions page was created.

This FAQ page will be updated periodically as the need arises.
Last Updated: 04/27/15

  1. How can I have my product tracked in Christian SoundScan?
  2. What is a CMTA Code and how is it used?
  3. Are there price restrictions for Christian SoundScan tracking when selling my product?
  4. How can I have pre-sales tracked in Christian SoundScan?
  5. Are bulk sales counted in Christian SoundScan?
  6. How can my artist's concert/venue sales be counted in Christian SoundScan?
  7. Are give-a-ways tracked in Christian SoundScan?
  8. I have two or more UPCs for the same product in retail. How can those sales be linked together on the same title report?
  9. How can I have my digital sales tracked in Christian SoundScan?
  10. How is marketshare counted toward my label/distributor in Christian SoundScan?
  11. Can a special edition be linked to the regular edition of the same product?
  12. Can a product that has both an audio component and a music video component chart on the audio and music video charts?
  13. Can my product appear on more than one genre chart?
  14. Can my product appear on the Billboard Christian and/or Gospel charts?
  15. What is an EAN?
  16. I received a response informing me my title has been registered. Why is it not showing up on the Christian SoundScan site?
  17. Can a product be packaged with a ticket to an event and still count as valid sales in Christian SoundScan?

  1. How can I have my product tracked in Christian SoundScan?
    • Product tracked in Christian SoundScan must be stocked and sold in multiple DMAs.
    • Please see the criteria in the information packet (link above).

  2. What is a CMTA Code and how is it used?

  3. Are there price restrictions for Christian SoundScan tracking when selling my product?
    • Yes. Christian SoundScan does not track any sales for full-length albums or full-length videos that are sold below $3.49 each for single-disc albums within the first four weeks of release.

  4. How can I have pre-sales tracked in Christian SoundScan?
    • Pre-sales can only be held and reported at a later time if the customer does not receive product until a later date. Pre-sales must be reported during the week the customer receives the product.
    • If pre-sales are conducted by a non-traditional reporter (internet, mail order) then the sales need to be reported by the zip code of the customer (not the zip code of the reporter) when the product has been shipped to the customer.
    • We advise that those conducting the pre-sale contact the CMTA in advance to alert them to the campaign and to confirm all reporting guidelines.
    • Pre-sales are considered sales that the customer pays for before the project's street date, but does not receive the product at the time of purchase. If a project is being sold ahead of street date and the customer receives that product when they purchase it, this is considered a regular sale and cannot be reported as a pre-sale at a later time. It must be reported when the customer receives the product.

  5. Are bulk sales counted in Christian SoundScan?
    • No. Bulk sales are not tracked in Christian SoundScan regardless if the purchaser is an individual or a business/organization. A bulk sale is considered a sale in which one customer buys more than four (4) units of the same product.

  6. How can my artist's venue sales be counted in Christian SoundScan?

  7. Are give-a-ways tracked in Christian SoundScan?
    • No. Give-a-ways are not tracked in Christian SoundScan.

  8. I have two or more UPCs for the same product in retail. How can those sales be linked together on the same title report?

  9. How can I have my digital sales tracked in Christian SoundScan?

  10. How is marketshare counted toward my label/distributor in Christian SoundScan?
    • Each UPC is required to be registered under a label code. Each label code is required to be registered under a distributor code. Marketshare is broken down by two levels: 1. Distribution (primary) 2. Label (secondary).
    • All sales collected for each UPC are attributed to the marketshare for the label code and distributor code is has been registered under.
    • If your label has different products distributed by two (or more) separate distributors, you will have to separate label codes for each UPC distributed. One UPC can not be registered under multiple label codes.

  11. Can a special edition be linked to the regular edition of the same product?
    • Yes. A special edition product can be linked to the regular edition of the same product. All of the original content from the regular edition must be included in the special edition.

  12. Can a product that has both an audio component and a music video component chart on the audio and music video charts?
    • No. It can only chart as one format.

  13. Can my product appear on more than one genre chart?
    • No, each title may only appear on one Christian SoundScan genre chart.
    • If a product has been incorrectly registered for the wrong genre chart, it may be switched to another genre chart within the first four (4) weeks of its release.

  14. Can my product appear on the Billboard Christian and/or Gospel charts?
    • Yes, as long as the product is approved by Billboard. Please review the information packet you can download at the top of this page for more information.

  15. What is an EAN?

  16. I registered my title with the CMTA. Why is it not showing up on the Christian SoundScan site?
    .
  17. Can a product be packaged with a ticket to an event and still count as valid sales in Christian SoundScan?
    • A product can only be packaged with a ticket to an event and counted in Christian SoundScan only if the ticket for the event can be purchased without the product at a lower price with the difference being at least $3.49. The public must be aware of both options (ticket price with CD and ticket price without CD). Please see FAQ #3 (price restrictions) for more information.

If you need further clarification regarding Christian SoundScan guidelines and policies, please call Ben Cooper at 615-601-2682 for more information.

Christian Music Trade Association