A new chart that keeps the previous criteria for the Billboard 200 (dubbed Top Current Albums) was also introduced in the same issue. The albums were eligible for the main album charts until 1963, when a Christmas Albums list was created.
These were renamed to Stereo Action Charts (30 positions) and Mono Action Charts (40 positions) in 1960.
In January 1961, they became Action Albums—Stereophonic (15 positions) and Action Albums—Monophonic (25 positions).
On May 25, 1991, Billboard premiered the Top Pop Catalog Albums chart.
The criteria for this chart were albums that were more than 18 months old and had fallen below position 100 on the Billboard 200.
The Billboard 200 is a record chart ranking the 200 most popular music albums and EPs in the United States. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists.
Often, a recording act will be remembered by its "number ones", those of their albums that outperformed all others during at least one week.
An album needed not have charted on the Billboard 200 at all to qualify for catalog status.
Starting with the issue dated December 5, 2009, however, the catalog limitations which removed albums over 18 months old, that have dropped below position 100 and have no currently-running single, from the Billboard 200 was lifted, turning the chart into an all-inclusive list of the 200 highest-selling albums in the country (essentially changing Top Comprehensive Albums into the Billboard 200).
Mono albums were moved to the Essential Inventory—Mono chart (25 positions) after spending 40 weeks on the Mono Action Chart, and stereo albums were moved to the Essential Inventory—Stereo chart (20 positions) after 20 weeks on the Stereo Action Chart.
In January 1961, the Action Charts became Action Albums—Monophonic (24 positions), and Action Albums—Stereophonic (15 positions).
The chart is based mostly on sales (both at retail and digital) of albums in the United States.