Colin Meloy of the Decemberists reached the top of the Billboard 200 charts, but that doesn’t tell the entire story. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

“Album sales as representative of the success of artists is a failing metric,” says Eric Garland, chief executive of Big Champagne, a media marketing company that has aimed to track music’s popularity in the digital age for more than a decade. “It no longer adequately explains or offers real insight into the market dynamics.”

Chris Richards digs deep into the new world of charting in today’s paper. If you didn’t pick up a copy and read the A1 story, read it here.