HDD vs. Soundscan

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Blue Crack Addict
Mar 13, 2001
Probably a question for STING...

What's the difference in Hits Daily Double numbers and those from Soundscan? They are usually similar, but with slight discrepancies. I'm wondering whether HDD uses a different timeline to measure sales (ie. start and conclude counting a day earlier) or whether they don't account for all sales, like for example, online sales.

Thank you! :)
Hello Martina,

I also have the knowledge to answer this question! :p
The difference between the two is not a different time period. However, SoundScan monitors the sales of all CD's that are scanned/sold. They record this data and compute the sales chart. HitsDailyDouble, in contrast, has connections with a select pool of record shops. After the weekend they call these shops and the shops report their sales. Based on these reports HDD extrapolate the data to compute the total sales. This makes the numbers reported by HDD less accurate. Not only do they not have all data, but need to extrapolate it, but they're also subject to other errors.
Sometimes store managers over- or underreport sales of a certain artist (for various reasons). This creates an initial discrepancy which will be exacerbated by the extrapolation. Furthermore, the shop may (intentionally or not) not be representative of the full population, because a certain artist did or did not sell well that week in that shop.

In short, SoundScan numbers are more accurate, but HDD is a good approximation.

C ya!

Popmartijn is correct.

Prior to June 1991, The USA Billboard Album 200 chart was computed with the HDD method. After June 1991, Soundscan was used. Soundscan covered 40% of the USA market in 1991. By 1993 it was covering 75% of the market. By 1996, it was over 85% and today it covers well over 95% of the market.
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